A man accused of brutally murdering of a 70-year-old father of six last month earned 199 days of early release time for ‘good behavior’ while in prison for first-degree robbery, which is considered a violent offense in Connecticut. State Representative DebraLee Hovey (R-112) said this tragic event raises red flags about the Malloy administration’s Risk Reduction Earned Credits program, a policy she opposed but was enacted this year by the governor and legislative Democrats.
“When a family with six children loses its father to a senseless crime, and the individual accused of this crime was a violent offender was allowed to accrue early release credits because he demonstrated ‘good behavior’ I think we need some questions answered,” said Hovey.
Frankie Resto stands accused in the shooting death of Ibrahim Ghazal on June 27 in Ghazal’s convenience store. According to a videotape supplied by police, Ghazal is seen handing money over to the gunman who then leveled a gun at the storekeeper. Police said Ghazal died of a single gunshot to the chest. Resto turned himself into authorities inNew York Citya week later.
According to revised statements from the Malloy administration Resto qualified for the early release credits but was unable to use them. The Democrats created the Risk Reduction Earned Credits program in 2011 allowing inmates, including violent offenders, to cut short their sentences by exhibiting “good behavior.’’ Republicans opposed the legislation and offered a bill that would have specifically excluded inmates such as Resto from early release. The Democrats turned down the Republican proposal.
Hovey called upon the Corrections Department and Malloy to explain the steps that led to Resto’s ability to earn the credits while incarcerated. Resto was freed on April 12 and 10 weeks later the murder was committed.
“We opposed this legislation last session precisely because we felt that this policy would lead to violent criminals being released, and that’s certainly not good public safety policy,” said Rep. Hovey.