A class-action lawsuit alleged that prisoners had to drink and bath in dirty, smelly water at a Connecticut prison years before two prisoners contracted Legionnaires’ disease.
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Signed in the 2021 legislative session, the biggest component of the act allows for the erasure of some criminal records starting in 2023. According to the law, people who have been charged with low-level felonies can petition for a court to clear their public records after seven years if the offense occurred on or after Jan. 1, 2000.
The law does not apply to Class A, B or C felonies (which can include murder, aggravated sexual assault of a minor or first-degree manslaughter with a firearm) — or family violence crimes and certain sex offender crimes. Certain low-level felonies (Class D or E felonies) can be erased after seven years if the offense occurred on or after Jan. 1, 2000.
Starting in July, the act will allow for a police officer part of a disciplinary investigation involving body camera or dashboard camera footage to review the footage in the presence of an attorney and view other camera footage capturing the officer in question during the incident. Within 48 hours of the officer’s review (or 96 hours after the incident if the officer doesn’t review the footage), the recording can be disclosed to the public upon request.
Other provisions that take effect on Jan. 1, 2022 include allowing a judge or jury in a case involving a police officer’s use of force to use an officer’s deliberate failure to use a body camera to draw conclusions in the trial based on body camera usage law.