Chief State’s Attorney’s Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of November 15, 2010
Office of the Chief State’s Attorney
Rocky Hill, Connecticut

The meeting was called to order at approximately 12:42 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), Michael Dearington (New Haven), Matthew C. Gedansky (Tolland), Kevin D. Lawlor (Ansonia-Milford), Timothy J. Liston (Middlesex), Scott J. Murphy (New Britain), Stephen Sedensky III (Danbury), David Shepack (Litchfield), and John C. Smriga (Fairfield); and Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Dennis O’Connor (Hartford).

Also present: Michael A. Gailor, Executive Assistant State’s Attorney; and Mark A. Dupuis, Division of Criminal Justice Communications Officer.

State’s Attorney Smriga made a motion to accept the minutes of the October 18, 2010, meeting. State’s Attorney Lawlor seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane initiated a discussion concerning the possibility of legislation dealing with the electronic recording of interrogations in criminal investigations and eyewitness identification procedures. State’s Attorney Smriga related the experience in Bridgeport, which is participating in the Division-initiated pilot program on recording interrogations. One concern at this time is determining who will be responsible for producing and paying for transcripts of recorded interrogations. The State’s Attorneys are asked to share their opinions on recorded interrogations and to be prepared to testify on specific legislative proposals during the upcoming legislative session. Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported that consideration is being given to establishing a commission to study eyewitness identification procedures. The State’s Attorneys are asked to give their suggestions as to the composition of such a commission.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported on improvements to the Westlaw legal research system and associated cost savings achieved by canceling subscriptions to printed materials. Also, all Inspectors and Forensic Fraud Examiners now have access to CLEAR, an investigative database tool. Training for CLEAR is being arranged at the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney. Westlaw will provide additional training opportunities for prosecutors as well.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Boyle reported on the steps the Division is taking to assure that all Inspectors are properly qualified on firearms use as required.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported that Special Assistant State’s Attorney Judith Rossi is working on a draft of an ethics policy for the Division. The draft will be circulated to the State’s Attorneys when ready.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Boyle raised the issue of the rebuttable presumption in homicide cases where remains are found in one state and the crime is believed to have been committed in another. The Division may offer legislation to clarify this situation.

State’s Attorney Shepack inquired as to the status of guidelines for the issuance of subpoenas. The matter will be placed on the agenda for the next meeting.

State’s Attorney Smriga raised questions about the need for legislation to address the issue of solicitation of certain criminal conduct as pointed out by the Supreme Court in State v. Cesar O’Neill. State’s Attorneys Smriga and Sedensky will draft legislation to be included in the Division’s 2011 Legislative Recommendations to the General Assembly.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at approximately 1:25 p.m.