Monday, February 23, 2009

New Bill Seeks Special Courts for Veterans in CT

Connecticut may be the next state to allow special considerations for war veterans facing non-violent criminal charges.

Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney (D) of New Haven has introduced a bill that would create special courts for these vets that could refer counseling in lieu of jail time if it can be proven that combat experience played a role in their criminal behavior.

"Our troubled veterans may not need to be locked up if their combat experience has led to psychological wounds," Looney told the Hartford Courant Sunday.

"I feel that I would be supportive of it as long as there were reviews into each case," says twenty- four-year old Stratford, Connecticut native Cpl. John F. Carrano Jr., USMC ret. who completed two tours of Iraq.

"The amount of people who claim post traumatic stress disorder and other things like that who don't deserve to is already disheartening enough, never mind how many people would jump to claim their crimes were a result of being deployed," Carrano said. "I love the fact that the troubles of returning veterans are being recognized and actions to help us out are being taken, however this plan would need a lot of work to secure justice within itself and I feel it would be very difficult to separate the legitimate cases and the cases of people trying to work the system to get themselves out of trouble. I would love to see something like this actually work out but it is going to take a lot of work and resources."

New York, California, and Minnesota are also in the process of passing similar bills.

What do you think?

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