BEYOND BARS: Racism and Corruption Plague Connecticut’s Legal System

By Abdul Mukhtaar, NLG Jailhouse Lawyer
Suffield, CT

In Connecticut we have judges appointed to the bench by what is known as the Judicial Selection Committee. This twelve-person panel is put together by the Governor, the President Pro Tempore, state Senate minority and majority leaders, and the State Representatives’ minority and majority leaders. Of these twelve members, six are attorneys and six are non-attorneys. None of these people get paid, they serve a three-year term and three of the attorneys are selected by the Governor himself. The Committee then vets a list of private attorneys, states attorneys and public defenders whose names are submitted by the Connecticut Bar Association for the work they have done.
I want readers to realize that here in Connecticut, numerous cases that are challenged and brought before the State habeas and appellate courts are about ineffective assistance of counsel, whether it is trial, appellate or habeas counsel. And most of these cases are lost. When prisoners file grievances against their attorney with the statewide grievance committee, prisoners automatically lose. Grievances are not even investigated. The problem is the corruption and racism in the state of Connecticut among state politicians, along with the cowardice of the minority politicians.

Connecticut Judges are beholden to the state’s political power structure, as well as the judicial branch of the state government; therefore, exposing corrupt attorneys, judges and politicians must be done at the federal level. Being a victim of this racist, corrupt system, I know and recognize that no matter what two-party system is in place, this violation of the people of Connecticut’s constitutional rights must stop. You wonder why in this climate that police are brutalizing people and murdering them, and politicians like President Obama do not care and do not really do anything about these actions of hatred and murder but blame the victims. Politics is why this racist and corrupt system is able to continue for so long.

In Connecticut, African Americans and Latinos together make up a minority of the overall population. Yet, as in many other states, they are severely overrepresented in the state’s prison population. I want the people to remember this, when you travel or do business in the state of Connecticut. Especially if you are of African and Latin descent. We have a slogan here: “Come to Connecticut on vacation, and leave on probation.” So remember, though Connecticut claims to be the “Constitution State” it really is the Slavery State, where the citizens are slaves to the state political power structure and the court lawyers and judges are their executioners/enforcers. ■