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The Chris Powell Column

Call secrecy ‘privacy’ and bid justice goodbye

Over the next six months a state government study committee will examine the conflict between integrity and secrecy in criminal justice, secrecy now being called “privacy.”

Zimmerman is no innocent, but ...

George Zimmerman is a bullying, bigoted ass who did exactly what police had told him not to do in performing neighborhood watch duty in Sanford, Fla. — confront people who seemed suspicious. But that alone isn’t a felony or even a misdemeanor.

Trayvon Martin is dead because of Zimmerman, who turns out to have been the “punk” he stereotyped Martin as being just for being a young black man wearing a hooded sweatshirt.

Zimmerman is no innocent, but ...

George Zimmerman is a bullying, bigoted ass who did exactly what police had told him not to do in performing neighborhood watch duty in Sanford, Fla. — confront people who seemed suspicious. But that alone isn’t a felony or even a misdemeanor.

Trayvon Martin is dead because of Zimmerman, who turns out to have been the “punk” he stereotyped Martin as being just for being a young black man wearing a hooded sweatshirt.

Limit photo ban to Newtown massacre

As they try to appease the political hysteria arising from the massacre in December at the school in Newtown, Governor Malloy and most state legislators are not concerned about all of the longterm consequences of their actions. But when things calm down they should reconsider a little.

Limit murder photo ban to Newtown massacre

As they try to appease the political hysteria arising from the massacre in December at the school in Newtown, Governor Malloy and most state legislators are not concerned about all of the longterm consequences of their actions. But when things calm down they should reconsider a little.

Secrecy bid won’t stop with murder photos

Connecticut is lucky that sympathy for the survivors of the victims of the school massacre in Newtown didn’t destroy everything about freedom of information and accountability in government. The massacre secrecy legislation, concocted secretly itself, without a public hearing, blocks disclosure only of photographs and videos of murder victims — all murder victims, not just those in the Newtown massacre — and recordings of police radio transmissions describing murder victims’ wounds.

Hiding massacre records doesn’t protect anyone

Especially in Connecticut’s disintegrating cities, people have been getting murdered for years without governors and legislators suggesting that public policy should be turned over to the families of the victims. But now Governor Malloy and some legislators are devoting themselves to what they call an effort to protect the survivors of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

It’s all a mistake, as what is proposed would not protect anyone but endanger everyone by diminishing accountability in government.

Scandalizing the Estys: There’s not much in it

Scandal mongers are feeding heavily off Connecticut’s power couple, U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5th District, and her husband, the commissioner of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Daniel C. Esty. But the supposed offenses of the Estys are actually only the norms of political life that could be held against most officeholders.

NRA is just a straw man for our cynical senators

A week before the U.S. Senate failed to muster the 60 votes needed to advance legislation for background checks for gun buyers, Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy declared that the political influence of the National Rifle Association is a myth.

If only state government noticed its own salaries

Good for state Budget Director Ben Barnes for chiding Connecticut hospital executives for drawing salaries of as much as $1 million and $2 million from supposedly nonprofit operations while complaining about cuts in financial aid from state government.