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News From

State Senator

Eric D. Coleman

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Representing Hartford, Bloomfield & Windsor

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Contact: Lawrence Cook
860-240-8609

January 15, 2016

Statement of Sen. Coleman On Today’s Claims Commissioner Award

State Senator Eric Coleman (D-Bloomfield), who is Senate Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement today in regard to today’s compensation award from the Office of the Claims Commissioner to four previously convicted Connecticut individuals who had each served over 16 years in prison, who have since been exonerated of their crimes and freed, and who will now receive $4.2 million each for their loss of liberty, loss of earnings, loss of reputation, physical and mental injuries, and legal fees.

“My admonition to people over the years is that our criminal justice system is not perfect, and the exoneration of these four individuals is further evidence that, while good, it is a less-than-perfect system. We as a society ought to be cautious about giving into any desire to deviate from our principle of innocent until proven guilty, and of attaching stigma to individuals who have been convicted and incarcerated,” Sen. Coleman said.

“Cutting corners in the process of prosecution can be an expensive proposition, obviously, and most importantly in terms of the impact on the lives of those who are convicted and subsequently exonerated, but also in terms of the loss of trust and confidence that citizens have for the system and the cost to the state regarding compensation to the exonerated for their wrongful incarceration,” Sen. Coleman added.

 

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