Sentencing Commission questions its own lobbying efforts

Former Rep. Bill Dyson (Hugh McQuaid photo)
Former Rep. Bill Dyson (Hugh McQuaid photo)

HARTFORD, Conn. – Faced with two consecutive legislative defeats on juvenile sentencing reforms, the nonpartisan Sentencing Commission wrestled Thursday with the “existential” question of just how strong a lobbying role it should take in the political arena.

The commission met Thursday for the first time since the end of the legislative session, when lawmakers again declined to act on legislation to reconsider lengthy prison sentences given to juvenile offenders.

The bill, which sought to bring Connecticut in line with U.S. Supreme Court rulings on punishments meted out to juvenile offenders, died on the state Senate calendar for the second year in a row. It would give inmates a hearing to make their case for a shorter sentence before a parole board if they have been serving lengthy prison terms for crimes they committed as teenagers.

Politics factored heavily into the bill’s failure this year. The legislation easily passed the House but leaders in the Democratic-controlled Senate acknowledged they declined to raise the proposal in an effort to spare their members from having to vote on controversial amendments planned by Republicans.

See the complete story at CT News Junkie.



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