Senator Len Suzio and members of the Ghazal family of Meriden will officially launch a petition drive calling for the suspension of the state’s new Early Release Program at 1 p.m. on Friday, August 3 outside the EZ Mart at 271 East Main Street in Meriden.
70-year-old Ibrahim Ghazal was murdered during a robbery June 27 at the EZ Mart. Police have arrested Frankie Resto, a prisoner who had been given early release credits under the provisions of the state's new law, for the murder of Mr. Ghazal.
"I urge the greater Meriden community to come out and support the Ghazal family on Friday afternoon," Suzio said. "Come to EZ Mart and sign our petition to suspend the state’s Early Release Program so that its impact on public safety can be investigated."
The state’s non-partisan Office of Victim Advocate recently learned that 7,589 inmates have been released from prison early under the 10-month old program. More than 10 percent of those inmates have already been returned to custody.
State Victim Advocate Michelle Cruz and other advocates for victims rights will be present at the petition drive.
The following is a partial list of criminal convictions eligible for reduced prison sentences in Connecticut under the early release law:
• First-degree manslaughter
• Assault of a pregnant woman
• First-degree assault
• Second-degree strangulation
• First-degree threatening
• Having sex with someone under the age of 13
• Assault of a blind or disabled person
• Animal cruelty
Those who cannot attend may sign the petition online at www.senatorsuzio.com,