Chief State’s Attorney’s Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of October 18, 2010
Office of the Chief State’s Attorney
Rocky Hill, Connecticut

The meeting was called to order at 12:35 p.m. by Chief State’s Attorney Kevin T. Kane.

Also in attendance were Deputy Chief State’s Attorneys Leonard C. Boyle (Operations) and John J. Russotto (Personnel, Finance and Administration), State’s Attorneys David I. Cohen (Stamford-Norwalk), John A. Connelly (Waterbury), Patricia M. Froehlich (Windham), Gail P. Hardy (Hartford), Kevin D. Lawlor (Ansonia-Milford), Timothy J. Liston (Middlesex), Scott J. Murphy (New Britain), Michael L. Regan (New London), David Shepack (Litchfield), and John C. Smriga (Fairfield); and Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Warren Murray (Danbury).

Also present: Michael A. Gailor, Executive Assistant State’s Attorney; Mark A. Dupuis, Division of Criminal Justice Communications Officer; and guests Robert Farr, Chair, Board of Pardons and Paroles; John Lahda, Executive Director, Board of Pardons and Paroles; and Fred Watton, Parole Manager, Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane introduced guest Robert Farr, who introduced John Lahda and Fred Watten from the Board of Pardons and Paroles. Mr. Farr gave a presentation and answered questions on the relationship between the Board of Pardons and Paroles and the Division of Criminal Justice. He reiterated the importance of prosecutors ordering transcripts in all sentencing proceedings where the defendant will be eligible for parole (two years or more to serve) and noted that a new auditing system will identify those who do not comply with the requirement. Mr. Farr also stressed the need for as much detail as possible to be included in transcripts to assist the Board of Pardons and Paroles in its review of cases. In cases where pardons are sought, the State’s Attorney’s are asked to not only state their opposition or support for a requested pardon, but to elaborate on the reasons for their position.

A motion was made by State’s Attorney Lawlor and seconded by State’s Attorney Smriga to approve the minutes of the Chief State’s Attorney’s meeting held on September 20, 2010. The motion passed without opposition.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported on faulty DNA kits utilized by the Department of Public Safety Forensic Laboratory. Some components deteriorate sooner than they should rendering them less effective for detecting DNA and raising the concern that it would lead to failure to identify suspects. Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Gailor reported that approximately 600 cases are affected. Each police department will be notified in all cases it handled, and the State’s Attorneys will be notified for their input in any post-arrest cases. Efforts are being made to address the backlog that will result from this problem.

State’s Attorney Murphy reported on a letter he and Chief State’s Attorney Kane wrote to the State Victim Advocate, Michele Cruz, concerning inaccuracies in her report on the homicide of Tiana Notice in the town of Plainville. The response from attorney Cruz was distributed to the State’s Attorneys. State’s Attorney Froehlich reported that the Victim Advocate Advisory Committee, of which she serves as Chair, has issued its annual evaluation of the effectiveness of the Office of the Victim Advocate.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported on the ongoing efforts by the Judicial Branch to correct the problem of fading and thus illegible labels used by the Judicial Branch on case file folders.

State’s Attorney Liston reported that he will attend the November meeting of the Board of Directors of the National District Attorneys Association at his own expense. A major item for discussion is the funding and future of the National Advocacy Center. The State’s Attorneys are asked to share any thoughts with Mr. Liston prior to his departure for the November 16, 2010, meeting.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at approximately 2:40 p.m.