State of Connecticut Criminal Justice Commission

The Criminal Justice Commission is an autonomous body constitutionally charged with appointing all state prosecutors employed in the Division of Criminal Justice.

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.

ARTICLE XXIII OF THE CONNECTICUT CONSTITUTION:

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 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 GThe Honorable Andrew J. McDonald, Chair of the Criminal Justice Commission.overnor 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 has served as an Associate Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court since January 2013. In addition, he has served as chairperson of the Criminal Justice Commission since June 2017. He has nearly three decades of experience as an attorney in Connecticut. For most of his legal career, he served as a litigation partner for Pullman & Comley, LLC, where he chaired the firm’s appellate practice.

In addition to Justice McDonald and Chief State's Attorney 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 has served as a Superior Court Judge since March 2013. Prior to her appointment on the court, she was a senior assistant state’s attorney for the Ansonia-Milford Judicial District. She also served as an assistant state’s attorney in the New Haven geographical-area courthouse. Prior to that, she was an associate in a general practice law firm in Hartford.

Robert Berke has been an attorney since 1992 and practices in the fields of civil and criminal litigation in state and federal courts. He also served as an assistant public defender in Connecticut from 1992 to 2000. He is the chair of the Town of Woodbridge Police Commission and has served on the Town of Woodbridge Board of Ethics, the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission, and as town moderator. He received a B.A. in Criminal Justice from the State University of New York at Albany and a J.D. from Quinnipiac University School of Law.

Reginald Dwayne Betts is a poet, memoirist, and lawyer. At age 16, Betts, an honor student, was sentenced to nine years in prison after committing a carjacking. There he took up reading and writing poetry and earned his high school diploma. Despite struggling to find employment and realize his academic goals upon his release, Betts eventually earned a B.A. from the University of Maryland, an M.F.A. from Warren Wilson College’s Master’s Program for writers, and a J.D. from Yale Law School. He is now an attorney advocating for prisoners who have found themselves in circumstances similar to his own, has published three books, and is working toward a Ph.D. in law at Yale.

Scott Murphy was the state’s attorney for the Judicial District of New Britain from 1998 until 2011. After retirement, he served as the Executive Director of the Judicial Review Council from 2012 until 2014. He was also the supervisory assistant state’s attorney at Geographical Area No. 15 in New Britain from 1986 to 1998 and an assistant state’s attorney from 1977 until 1986. He is a graduate of Alfred University and the University of New York at Buffalo Law School.

Moy N. Ogilvie has served as a member of the Criminal Justice Commission since 2011. She is also an attorney and the managing partner of McCarter & English’s Hartford office. Her areas of practice include liability and toxic tort cases and commercial litigation matters. She also handles pro-bono cases for Lawyers for Children America and other nonprofit legal organizations. She currently chairs McCarter’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and also serves on the boards of directors for the Connecticut Bar Foundation and Hartford Youth Scholars. She received her B.A. from Bowdoin College and her J.D. from Boston University School of Law.

The Commission's appointment authority includes the Chief State's Attorney, Deputy Chief State's Attorneys, and Deputy Assistant State's Attorneys. 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.

CONTACT THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE COMMISSION:

Criminal Justice Commission
c/o Division of Criminal Justice
300 Corporate Place
Rocky Hill, Connecticut 06067

Telephone: (860) 258-5800
(860) 258-5858 Fax

Follow this link to e-mail the Criminal Justice Commission. NOTE: In accordance with State of Connecticut security protocols, the Criminal Justice Commission cannot accept unsolicited email attachments. Unless this agency has specifically asked you to submit an attachment, all information must be submitted as plain text in the body of the email.