Media Contact

Meghan Holden, ACLU of Connecticut,

January 30, 2020

The Criminal Justice Commission today appointed Richard Colangelo to become Connecticut’s next Chief State’s Attorney. The following is a reaction from Gus Marks-Hamilton, field organizer for the ACLU of Connecticut Smart Justice campaign:

“Connecticut’s Chief State’s Attorney has the power and responsibility to actively, vocally, and consistently advance decarceration and racial justice. We strongly urge Richard Colangelo to fully seize his role in ending mass incarceration and racism in the criminal legal system. All Chief State’s Attorney finalists, including Richard Colangelo, showed room for improvement and positive signs in their responses to Smart Justice’s survey and the questions asked today by the Criminal Justice Commission. Smart Justice looks forward to holding Richard Colangelo accountable for supporting the decarceration and racial justice policies outlined in our survey, and we are requesting that he meet with us within the first 30 days of his term.”

Marks-Hamilton testified today during the public comment period of the Criminal Justice Commission meeting to interview and appoint the Chief State’s Attorney.

Earlier this month, Smart Justice released the results of a 17-question survey of all known Chief State’s Attorney applicants. All four finalists interviewed by the Criminal Justice Commission today – Richard Colangelo, Kevin Lawlor, Erik Lohr, and Maureen Platt – completed the survey. In it, Smart Justice asked applicants for their “yes” or “no” positions, with room for explanation, on policies regarding decarceration, racial justice, and criminal legal reform, including police accountability proposals. Results of the survey were published online. During today’s interviews, Criminal Justice Commission members asked several questions about applicants’ responses to Smart Justice’s survey.

For Richard Colangelo’s complete survey response:

For Smart Justice’s earlier statement announcing the survey: