It’s not really live, since it was last night, but State Rep and Judiciary Committee co-chair Mike Lawlor stopped by CT Local Politics to participate in a live blog and answer questions from anyone who wanted to participate. I posed some questions, the answers to which I will get to in a second, but near the end of the chat, he dropped this:
Oh, and I should point out that all conviction information, for everyone, will be on line soon at both the judicial and department of public safety websites. Everything from sex offenses to shoplifting will be there. I support full disclosure of criminal conviction information.
He further clarified:
The list of all criminal conviction information is already available from the state police. This will now be online. Thats a bit different than the sex offender website, which contains a lot more information. If you want to check someone’s record, here is how to do it now…
It has now been 11 hours since that and I still don’t know how I feel about it. It is a public record, but will this fuel mass hysteria and cause people to start spying on one another? (Not in the clandestine sense, but in the “I’m going to watch you more closely and see if what you’re doing is dangerous or illegal” sense) How will this affect prospective employees? Landlords? Liquor stores? Or is this necessary and useful? Will this cause people to be more careful and aware? What do you guys think?
Anyway, on to the questions. I asked and he replied (to question #1):
Second, SB 1458, which creates a “tender years” exception to hearsay. Were you not concerned about the Constitutionality of this legislation in light of Crawford v. Washington? Thank you for your time.
The final language of the bill was agreed upon by the judges’ rules committee, the prosecutors and public defenders. It was changed substantially from the original proposal to meet the concerns expressed, especially from the defense bar. Many other states have adopted similar rules post Crawford.
You mentioned that you were on the sentencing commission and the risk assessment board. As part of the sentencing commission, what will you be looking at and what steps do you think the State should take to deal with prison overcrowding?
Hey, sorry for missing this one. The Commission should have its own website up by now, and I will check into why its not available. In the meantime, check out the great, and recent, OPM reports on justice trends and stats in CT.
I’ll be looking for that website, but the one he provided a link for does have some interesting reports. I plan on sifting through it later.
The rest of the questions were about politics, gay marriage and the budget.
All in all, I have to say that it was an excellent example of the good that can come of the blogosphere.