Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the General Assembly are to be commended for their 2015 “Second Chance Society” legislation, reversing racist laws that filled our jails with nonviolent drug users, most of them African-American and Latino. But it is ill-advised to pursue announced policies emanating from that corrective action; especially plans for secret trials of defendants in their early 20s.
Some key Connecticut legislators are telling us to compromise on how much the people can know about crime and punishment, how much we can know about how the police are protecting the public from alleged criminals. I am not sure how to compromise on the right of the people to know what their government is doing in their name.
Interested in preserving the public’s access to government information seems to have waned significantly among Connecticut lawmakers since former Gov. Ella Grasso first signed ground-breaking FOI legislation into law. More incumbent legislators should be signing the pledge to protect the public’s right to know.