Governor Lamont Nominates Members of the Criminal Justice Commission
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he is nominating six highly respected and experienced individuals to serve as members of the state’s Criminal Justice Commission, the group responsible under the state constitution for appointing state prosecutors.
The governor said that his nominees bring a unique, balanced, and diverse perspective to the important function of appointing state prosecutors. The slate of nominees includes two former prosecutors, a former public defender, and a formerly incarcerated person, whose voice and experience will better represent the perspective of those communities most affected by the criminal justice system. This will be the first time in state history that a formerly incarcerated person has served as a member of the commission.
“Recent reforms to our state’s criminal justice system have driven crime rates down to historic lows and saved tens of millions of taxpayer dollars,” Governor Lamont said. “I am confident that this group of nominees will further those efforts by choosing competent, fair, and thoughtful prosecutors.”
Under the state constitution, the commission is comprised of the Chief State’s Attorney, who serves as an ex-officio member, and six people nominated by the governor and confirmed by the legislature, two of whom must be judges.
Governor Lamont’s nominations to the commission are:
- Chairperson: The Honorable Andrew J. McDonald – Justice 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, for whom he chaired the firm’s appellate practice.
- The Honorable Melanie L. Cradle – Judge 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 – Attorney 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 – 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 – 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 G.A. #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 – 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.