Published September 04. 2019 5:48PM
What would your definition of cruel and unusual punishment be?
Recently, a federal judge ruled that Connecticut’s 11 former death row inmates can sue the state for “cruel and unusual punishment” after being re-sentenced to what they call “highly restrictive life terms.”
After the Connecticut General Assembly passed a bill abolishing the death penalty going forward, and the state Supreme Court ruled those already on death row could not be executed either, 11 convicted killers had their death sentences converted to life in prison without parole.
Fast-forward to present day and those inmates, saved from their fate, now have a federal judge questioning whether they are being treated fairly.
Connecticut has carried out a about 160 executions going all the way back to the hanging of "Nepauduck," a Native American in 1639, and finishing with the lethal injection of serial killer Michael Ross in 2005, only after he refused to keep appealing his death sentence.
Connecticut has executed people for bestiality, blasphemy, adultery, incest, rape, witchcraft and, of course, murder. Execution methods ranged from beheadings and firing squads to electrocutions and lethal injections.
But that’s history.
No more death row, no more dead man walking, no more eye for an eye. We live in a politically sophisticated, apologetic, polarized, left-dominated nanny state — seemingly always more concerned with the criminals than their victims.
First, liberal do-gooders push to end capital punishment. Then the liberal lawyers arrive, claiming the living conditions for these murderers, who should have been executed long ago, is too harsh. The 11 former death-row inmates are housed at the Special Circumstances High Security Unit at Northern Correctional Institution, kept separate from other inmates.
They must remain in their cells for most of the day and have limited visitation. Because, you know, they viciously killed people! Really, is life in a cell cruel and unusual punishment as penance for that?
During the debate to repeal the death penalty, former state Sen. Joe Crisco Jr., D-Woodbridge, opined, “Life in prison is actually worse or even more punitive than being put to death,” while then Sen. Edith Prague chirped, “How one retains his sanity in an environment like that is incomprehensible.”
A counter argument to that progressive nonsense comes from a state trooper who once famously told me, "Prison is supposed to suck!"
Now, killers live 50 or 60 years on the state’s dime, eating three meals a day, watching TV, listening to radio and sleeping in a bed. How is this justice? A convicted killer should stare at four blank white walls 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Progressive liberals always throw around the notion that somehow life in prison is more difficult and a tougher hardship than the electric chair. That’s false! We only get one ride on this big blue marble and nobody knows what’s in store for us when this trip is over. The assumption that life in the ground is somehow superior to life in a cell is garbage.
Murder victims don't get another Christmas or another birthday party; they don't get to see another Super Bowl, sunrise, or a rainstorm. Murder victims don't get a hug from their mom or a kiss from their spouses, or one last face lick from the new puppy.
They’re dead and gone forever.
Cruel and unusual imprisonment, huh? You want to know what cruel looks like?
- Richard Roszkowski, convicted of gunning down his former girlfriend, Holly Flannery, 39; her 9-year-old daughter, Kylie; and Thomas Gaudet, 38; his former roommate, in Bridgeport in September 2006.
- Todd Rizzo confessed to and was convicted in the 1997 murder of 13-year-old Stanley Edwards of Waterbury. He lured Edwards into his backyard under the guise of hunting snakes, and then hit him 13 times with a 3-pound sledgehammer.
- Russell Peeler Jr. was convicted of ordering the 1999 killing of 8-year-old Leroy "B.J." Brown Jr. and his mother, Karen Clarke, in their Bridgeport duplex.
- Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky were convicted of the murders of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, Hayley and Michaela, at their Cheshire home in July 2007.
We live in a violent world where monsters roam freely every day. Bring back and streamline capital punishment for capital crimes. Move quickly forward on appeals, then carry out the sentence. Serial killers and murderous felons, with total disregard for suffering, forfeited their rights to be classified as humans.
Hartford, if you ever do decide to fire-up Ole Sparky, take this column as my official application for switch flipper. That’s a part-time job I’d have no problem making time for.