The Criminal Justice Commission is an autonomous body constitutionally charged with appointing all state prosecutors employed in the Division of Criminal Justice.
Article fourth of the constitution is amended by adding a new section to read as follows: There shall be established within the executive department a division of criminal justice which shall be in charge of the investigation and prosecution of all criminal matters. Said division shall include the chief state's attorney, who shall be its administrative head, and the state's attorneys for each judicial district, which districts shall be established by law. The prosecutorial power of the state shall be vested in a chief state's attorney and the state's attorney for each judicial district. The chief state's attorney shall be appointed as prescribed by law. There shall be a commission composed of the chief state's attorney and six members appointed by the governor and confirmed by the General Assembly, two of whom shall be judges of the Superior Court. Said commission shall appoint a state's attorney for each judicial district and such other attorneys as prescribed by law.
The Commission was established with the adoption of Article XXIII of the Connecticut Constitution, which was approved by the voters of this state in November, 1984.
The Commission makes appointments of statutorily mandated prosecutors, as well as other prosecutors requested by the Chief State's Attorney, who is responsible for the administration of the Division of Criminal Justice.
The Commission is composed of the Chief State's Attorney and six members nominated by the Governor and appointed by the General Assembly, two of whom must be judges of the Superior Court.
The Governor appoints the Chairperson, and the members of the Commission volunteer their service to the State of Connecticut; they are not compensated.
The Honorable Andrew J. McDonald, Associate Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court, was appointed Chair in 2017 by Governor Dannel P. Malloy. Justice McDonald has served on the Supreme Court since January 2013 and previously served as General Counsel in the Office of the Governor.
In addition to Justice McDonald and Chief State's Richard J. Colangelo, Jr., who serves as an ex-officio member, the current members of the Criminal Justice Commission are:
- The Honorable Melanie L. Cradle, Judge of the Appellate Court.
- Reginald Dwayne Betts, Esq.
- Robert Berke, Esq.
- Moy N. Ogilvie, Esq.
- Scott Murphy, Esq.
The Chief State's Attorney is appointed for a five-year term; the Deputy Chief State's Attorneys for a four-year term; and the State's Attorneys for eight-year terms. The Chief State's Attorney, in his capacity as a member of the Commission, does not participate in the appointment process for the Chief State's Attorney or the Deputy Chief State's Attorneys.