Special session held to discuss criminal justice system

Lawmakers held a special session Tuesday to discuss strengthening the state?s criminal justice system.

Talks of reforming the criminal justice and parole systems came about after a deadly home invasion in Cheshire last summer. The two men charged in that crime were out on parole at the time.

Since then, lawmakers have held public hearings and Gov. Jodi Rell convened a task force to come up with proposed changes.

The proposed reforms create a new crime of home invasion, modify the Board of Pardons and Parole and require more of a sentence be served before eligibility of parole.

?Our laws aren?t tough enough,? Senate Minority Leader John McKinney (R-Fairfield) says. ?They were going to jail for a short period of time, getting out and committing other crimes.?

Democratic leaders accepted Rell?s definition of home invasion, which does not require prosecutors to prove the suspect knew someone was home when they broke in, at the session. Meanwhile, lawmakers are still debating about the persistent offender and three strikes laws.

Related Information:Rellannounces ideas to improve state's parole system

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