HARTFORD – After two days of public testimony, the Criminal Justice Commission today announced that it would reappoint State’s Attorney Maureen Platt as State’s Attorney for the Waterbury Judicial District and that State’s Attorney Gail Hardy had withdrawn her bid for reappointment as State’s Attorney for the Hartford Judicial District. The ACLU of Connecticut opposed the reappointments of both State’s Attorneys due to their decisions to not hold police accountable for violence and for other patterns of mismanagement. The reappointment hearings were the first under a new Connecticut law requiring the Criminal Justice Commission to accept written and oral public comments regarding prosecutors’ reappointments.
The following is a reaction from Melvin Medina, public policy and advocacy director for the ACLU of Connecticut:
“State’s Attorneys in Connecticut remain among the most powerful yet least accountable actors in the criminal legal system. Both State’s Attorney Hardy and State’s Attorney Platt’s histories of failing to hold police accountable and of other mismanagement show that under the status quo, poor behavior from State’s Attorneys can easily continue for years without accountability. Despite State’s Attorneys holding people’s lives and fates in their hands, they are appointed to eight-year terms with little interim oversight and are not measured based on data-driven performance evaluations regarding whether they have improved community wellbeing in their districts. One State’s Attorney stepping down does not make a system of accountability, and the hard truth remains that Connecticut still needs a way to evaluate State’s Attorneys based on whether they have measurably pursued police accountability, reduced racism in the criminal legal system, and reduced incarceration.”
For the ACLU of Connecticut’s testimony opposing State’s Attorney Hardy’s reappointment: https://www.acluct.org/sites/default/files/acluct_2020_testimony_opposing_the_reappointment_of_states_attorney_gail_hardy_6.26.20.pdf
For the ACLU of Connecticut’s testimony opposing State’s Attorney Platt’s reappointment: https://www.acluct.org/sites/default/files/acluct_2020_testimony_opposing_the_reappointment_of_states_attorney_maureen_platt_6.26.20.pdf
For statewide polling showing the vast majority of Connecticut voters support creating data-driven performance evaluations for State’s Attorneys: https://www.acluct.org/sites/default/files/aclu_ct_memo_for_public_release_states_attorneys.pdf