Gail Hardy graduated from UCONN law school back in the early 1990s, about the same time I graduated from law school. Gail went to work for the Connecticut State’s Attorney’s Office. Gail rose through the ranks and in 2007 was appointed Chief State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of Hartford, one of the busiest offices in the State. In January of 2020 Gail was in the running for appointment to the position of Chief States Attorney for the State of Connecticut. In November of 2019 Gail was rebuked by her superiors for failing to complete her investigations in a number of deadly police shootings going back to 2008. Prosecutor Richard Coangelo was appointed to the position of Chief State’s Attorney over Gail Hardy. Hardy was just suspended for four days for failing to complete her investigations.
How long does it take Gail Hardy to complete a typical murder investigation? When the accused murderer is a member of the Black community the investigation may take a few weeks, a few months, six months, but not much longer, unless it is deemed a cold case. When the person accused of murder is a member of the law enforcement community time stands still in Gail Hardy’s office.
Hardy is up for reappointment as Chief States Attorney for Hartford at the end of the month. If she is not reappointed she will keep her position as State’s Attorney and continue to prosecute the bad guys and protect the good guys, even when the good guys do bad things, like shoot members of the public.
The Chief State’s Attorneys’ report rebuking Hardy back in November 2019 didn’t recommend any particular punishment. Had there not been any police brutality protests Hardy would not have been “punished” with a four day suspension, a slap on the wrist.
The Chief State’s Attorney’s report referred to Hardy as “honest and conscientious” and concluded: “It appears that Hardy’s decision that the use of deadly force was justified was appropriate… but the process was not completed, and the officers who were cleared, and the police departments who employed them, and the public for whom we all work deserved a timely report and explanation.” What about the families of the dead victims? Don’t the families deserve an explanation? Sounds like a whitewash. See the Hardy report below:
Is it any coincidence that Hardy’s suspension was ordered two weeks before Hardy is up for reappointment as Chief States Attorney of Hartford by the Connecticut Criminal Justice Commission? It would have been a huge embarrassment to the Connecticut Criminal Justice Commission had Hardy been reappointed in the midst of the current public outrage over police shootings.
The Criminal Justice Commission consists of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Andrew J. McDonald, Judge Melanie L. Cradle, former public defender Attorney Robert Berke, corporate attorney Moy N. Ogilvie, State’s Attorney Scott Murphy, and Attorney Reginald Dwayne Betts a guy who did 8 years in prison for his involvement in a carjacking when he was 16 years old. Betts graduated from Yale Law School and passed the Connecticut bar exam on his first try, unlike John F. Kennedy Jr. At first the Bar Examining Committee refused to admit him to the bar. After Betts got press overage and hundreds of letters of supporters at Yale he was in like Flynn. Betts is a reformed criminal and yet he didn’t do one day in Otisville prison with Michael Cohen. That’s a big accomplishment!
I reviewed years of criminal trials in which Hardy prosecuted. Hardy tried numerous rape cases. Many appeals claimed that Hardy engaged in “prosecutorial misconduct.” The Appellate and Supreme Courts rarely overturn a conviction. Every bad ruling at the trial level is upheld on the grounds that it was “harmless error.” In State v. Lindo, the Appellate Court referred to Hardy and stated: “our review of the record discloses that the trial court admonished the prosecutor on numerous occasions… The defendant claims that the prosecutor impermissibly injected highly prejudicial considerations into the jury deliberations by cross-examining him about his status as an illegal immigrant.” Hardy hammered the defendant on his INS status, which was completely irrelevant to whether he was guilty of the crime.
In the case of State v. Ruffin, Justice Andrew J. McDonald rebuked Prosecutor Hardy, and stated the following: “I would conclude that the state’s argument was an adverse comment on the defendant’s silence that penalized the defendant for exercising his fifth amendment right. It was prosecutorial impropriety...” There were numerous appeals filed against Hardy because she commented on the Defendant’s refusal to take the witness stand. A prosecutor is not supposed to suggest, in so many words, that the defendant should be convicted because the Defendant asserted his Fifth Amendment right not to testify.
I have never seen so many appeals filed against a single prosecutor for prosecutorial misconduct for commenting on a defendant’s refusal to take the witness stand. Some prosecutors take the strategy that it is better to win a clean conviction, an appeal proof conviction, than engage in improper conduct that could lead to a reversal on appeal. Attorney Hardy takes the opposite approach. Hardy pushes the envelope. Hardy knows that Appellate Courts rarely overturn convictions, even in extreme cases of prosecutorial misconduct.
I’ve handled numerous criminal appeals in my 20 plus year legal career. Prosecutors are public ministers of justice and fairness. Prosecutors have a duty to protect the Constitutional process, as prosecutors represent the State, the public. Prosecutors who engage in unfair trial tactics trash the Constitution, trash the rights of the public whom they represent, not to mention trashing the rights of accused who is facing years behind bars. Appellate Courts that rarely overturn appeals encourage prosecutors to engage in prosecutorial misconduct in order to win a conviction. It is better to let ten guilty men go free than wrongly convict one man.
In State v. David O, the Appellate Court stated the following about Hardy: “The defendant claims that the prosecutor engaged in deliberate impropriety by instructing the jury on matters in violation of the trial court’s ruling. The trial court denied the defendant’s motion on the ground that the prosecutor’s arguments, despite having crossed the line, had not resulted in any advantage to the state…” In State v. Lynch, the Appellate Court stated the following with regard to Hardy: “Defense counsel objected to Hardy’s comment and, after a discussion at sidebar, the court ordered the jury to disregard the prosecutor’s comment, concluding that it was an appeal to the jury’s passions… we note that the state concedes that the remark made during rebuttal argument was an act of impropriety…”
But for the police brutality protests, Prosecutor Hardy would have been appointed Chief State’s Attorney for the State of Connecticut. The Connecticut politicians and legal establishment would have hailed her as the first African American woman in such a position of power. Scary thought. Its almost as scary as when Obama was elected President and did absolutely nothing to address police brutality or mass incarceration. The misfit Donald passed the first sentence reform legislation in decades, ie., the First Step Act. When the “liberal” Democrats were in power they passed the three strikes laws and built new prisons.
Full disclosure: I was locked up during the Obama Administration, but I bear no ill will towards Obama. Obama had a difficult childhood. He has eight half siblings, one named Malik who supported the Donald. Obama has a Jewish half brother who married a Chinese girl and moved to China. What is it with Jewish men and their Chinese trophy wives? Marrying a Chinese girl will not make you rich like Mark Zuckerburg you putz!
I was locked up with an African American guy who was doing 20 years for dealing drugs. He was a model inmate who worked his way down from the max to the Otisville camp. Campers were trusted to work with correctional officers. This inmate worked on a ladder with an officer. A giant sharp steel barb fell from a building while they were working. This Black inmate pushed the White officer off the ladder and saved his life. The Warden wrote the inmate a letter thanking him for saving the life of a law enforcement officer and put $100 in his commissary account. I don’t believe that the officer would have attempted to save the life of the inmate had their roles been reversed.
The only way to reform the criminal justice system is to follow the lead of Philadelphia’s State’s Attorney Larry Krasner. Philadelphia allows for the election of Chief State’s Attorneys, unlike other jurisdictions such as Connecticut, where they are appointed by the political thugs in power. Krasner was a former public defender. When he took office he fired one third of the State’s attorneys and sidelined bad cops whom he couldn’t fire. He revamped and reformed the entire department. Law enforcement is not the only government agency that needs to be reformed. The social service agencies that address homelessness, mental health, child abuse, foster care and poverty all need to be completely overhauled, as does the entire criminal justice system, which is completely mismanaged by lawyers.
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