'Second Chance,' Body Camera Bills Approved

July 6, 2015

The Connecticut House and Senate voted to adopt two major criminal justice bills intended to increase police accountability, end racially disparate sentencing and lower incarceration rates for non-violent crimes. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's so-called "Second Chance Society" measure, which lowers penalties for drug possession and streamlines the process for paroles and pardons and An Act Concerning Excessive Use of Force, the formal name of the body-camera bill, was the General Assembly's response to local concerns and national controversies in Baltimore; Ferguson, Mo.; and North Charleston, S.C., about police accountability, primarily in law enforcement's dealing with minorities.

Two retired police officers in the House, Democrats Joseph Verrengia of West Hartford and Jeffrey J. Berger of Waterbury, voted for the bill.