A Rush to Judgment By Gov. Rell

David Pollitt was convicted of a number of sexual assaults more than a quarter century ago. When he was released from prison, he moved in with his sister in New London, Connecticut -- much to the displeasure of Gov. Rell, who apparently doesn't think anyone with sex offense convictions should be allowed to live outside of prison. Rell was unsuccessful in her attempt to block Pollitt's move.

Pollitt remains on supervision, equipped with a GPS tracking device. For about 15 minutes on September 3, the device did not indicate that Pollitt was at his sister's home. That was all it took for Rell to demand that Pollitt be returned to prison immediately -- no investigation, no hearing, just lock him up. The governor's press release, demanding immediate incarceration for the "apparent" violation, all but accuses Pollitt's family of lying when they said he didn't leave the premises.

It turns out that the GPS device failed (as it often did, exactly as the family explained) and that Pollitt hadn't violated the terms of his supervision at all. So did Gov. Rell deliver the apology that Pollitt and his family deserved? Far from it. [more...]

"Mr. Pollitt needs to be equipped immediately with a dependable and accurate means of tracking his movements," the governor said. "At the first violation of his probation conditions, no matter how minor, he should be remanded to prison."

So any violation, no matter how harmless, no matter that the violation isn't itself a crime, should be enough to deprive a man of his liberty in Rell's world. And as the press release demonstrates, the governor doesn't even care if the violation is provable.

After [Pollitt's] hearing, his attorney, Ioannis A. Kaloidis, decried what he called the "lynch mob mentality" of elected officials before they knew the facts of the case. "The real unfortunate aspect is that there was a rush to judgment," Kaloidis told reporters. "Mr. Pollitt wants to move on with his life and comply with the conditions of his probation."

In Connecticut, it's the governor who is leading the rush to judgment and inciting the lynch mob.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Sex offenders are the new Commies of the McCarthy (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by jawbone on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 04:31:03 PM EST
    ear. Or witches of the Salem era.

    When basic civil liberties are seen as not important for certain classes of criminals, it will not be long before the classifications are expanded to include more and more types of action.

    And thought crimes are already being treated as real crimes.

    Can Rell run again? Is she preparing for her next election?

    You hit the nail on the head. (none / 0) (#3)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 04:35:09 PM EST
    Sex offenders are 'bad,' or they wouldn't be/have been sex offenders. They don't have anyone lobbying for them, nor speaking on their behalf. Too easy to label.

    Several sexual assaults (none / 0) (#4)
    by MichaelGale on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 06:22:50 PM EST
    sounds like he is a repeat offender and there is not much chance of rehabilitation without appropriate treatment and for a long period of time.

    Without that, I wouldn't want him living near me either.