Obama’s Latest Liberal Activist Judicial Nominee Goes Before Senate Panel Today Despite Record Of Bending Law To Protect Sex Offenders And MurderersChatigny’s decisions gave unwarranted protections to dangerous sex offenders, including a decision ultimately overturned by the supreme court

sex20offendersIn 2000, Chatigny Ruled That Since A Sex Offender Helped Children “Cultivate An Interest In Music,” It Balanced Out “His Possession Of Child Pornography” Earning Him A Reduced Sentence.

It doesn’t seem this condition has resurfaced,” he said. He stressed that [Philip A. Bunker] was being prosecuted only for possessing child pornography and that Bunker had for years helped children cultivate an interest in music. Judge Robert N. Chatigny did note Bunker’s long history of public service but rebuked him for his crime. He sentenced Bunker to 15 months in prison and a $4,000 fine for possession of child pornography. The sentence was the minimum allowed under federal sentencing guidelines. Bunker could have faced up to 21 months in prison.” (Lisa Goldberg, “Retired Teacher Gets 15 Months Child Pornography Case Ends,” The Hartford Courant, 7/15/00)


In 2001, Chatigny Overturned Connecticut’s “Online Sex-Offender Registry” Claiming That It “Violated The Rights” Of Some Sex-Offenders. “A federal judge’s ruling overturning part of the state’s new law establishing an online sex-offender registry prompted lawmakers yesterday to offer amendments to the law. On Monday, Judge Robert Chatigny of Federal District Court ruled that the registry violated the rights of some ‘nondangerous registrants’ because they had no way to appeal. The speaker of the House, Moira K. Lyons, a Democrat, proposed an amendment to allow registrants to petition a judge to be removed from the list. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said he would appeal the ruling.” (Paul Zielbauer, “Hartford: Offender Law To Be Amended,” The New York Times, 4/5/01)


  • And “Ordered The State Police …To Remove It Permanently From The Internet.” “State officials shut down Connecticut’s online sex-offender registry this morning, complying with a permanent order from a federal judge who had ruled that the state’s method of placing people on it was unconstitutional….On Tuesday, Judge Robert N. Chatigny of Federal District Court ordered the state police, who administer the online database, to remove it permanently from the Internet by today.” (Paul Zielbauer, “Hartford’s Sex-Offender Registry Shut Down After Judge’s Order,” The New York Times, 5/19/01)


Democrat Attorney General Richard Blumenthal Called Chatigny’s Actions “Dead Wrong And Dangerous.” “Mr. Blumenthal asked the judge to wait until the appeals process was complete before carrying out his decision … Mr. Blumenthal called the decision ‘dead wrong and dangerous’ and said he would appeal immediately.” (“Judge Bans Public Access To Sex Offender List,” The New York Times, 5/17/01)


  • And Blumenthal Said “Public Safety Will Be In Danger” Due To Chatigny’s Reckless Ruling. “‘We do believe the public safety will be in danger,’ Mr. Blumenthal told the judge. ‘What about a sex offender living across from a school? That is the reason for Megan’s Law.'” (“Judge Bans Public Access To Sex Offender List,” The New York Times, 5/17/01)


That’s Why The United States Supreme Court, In A Unanimous Opinion, Reversed Chatigny’s Decision. “We granted certiorari to determine whether the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit properly enjoined the public disclosure of Connecticut’s sex offender registry … Connecticut, however, has decided that the registry requirement shall be based on the fact of previous conviction, not the fact of current dangerousness. Indeed, the public registry explicitly states that officials have not determined that any registrant is currently dangerous. We therefore reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals because due process does not require the opportunity to prove a fact that is not material to the State’s statutory scheme.” (Connecticut Department of Public Safety v. Doe, 538 U.S. 1 (2003), U.S. Supreme Court, 3/5/03)





In 1987, Michael Ross Admitted To Raping And Murdering Eight Women Across Connecticut And New York, And Was Sentenced To Death By A Jury. “Ross admits killing eight young women in Connecticut and New York between 1981 and 1984. He was deemed competent last month by a doctor appointed by the Connecticut Supreme Court. Ross was sentenced to death in 1987.Ross’ victims were 14 to 25 when he strangled them to death. Ross admitted raping all but one of them first. Six of his victims were from Connecticut. Ross received his death sentence in 1987 in the cases of four victims.” (Phil Hirschkorn, “Appeals Court Halts Ross Execution,” CNN, 1/25/05)


But In 2005, Chatigny Ignored A Connecticut “Supreme Court Decision That Had Lifted A Stay” Of Ross’ Execution. “Five GOP state legislators yesterday called on Congress to investigate a federal judge’s aggressive tactics that led to the postponement of what would have been New England’s first execution in 45 years. U.S. District Court Judge Robert Chatigny last week berated the attorney for convicted killer Michael Ross, saying the lawyer was ‘terribly, terribly wrong’ in aiding Ross’ effort to be put to death. The legislators also claim Chatigny acted inappropriately by ignoring a Supreme Court decision that had lifted a stay of execution. They called for him to step aside in the case.” (Nation Digest, “Connecticut Legislators Want Judge Investigated,” The Seattle Times, 2/3/05)


Chatigny Did Not Recuse Himself From The Case Even Though He Was On Ross’ Defense Team “13 Years Earlier.” “[T]hey allege that Judge Chatigny committed misconduct in failing to recuse himself (or at least reveal the facts) where, 13 years earlier, as an attorney in private practice representing the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (“CCDLA”) he had a brief involvement in Ross’s case.” (Report To The Judicial Council Of The Second Circuit, “Investigate Allegations of Judicial Misconduct,” 7/11/06)


Chatigny “Abandoned Neutrality And Became An Advocate On Behalf Of Saving Ross From Execution.” “[T]he Complaints allege that in the course of these proceedings Judge Chatigny abandoned neutrality and became an advocate on behalf of saving Ross from execution, exceeding his judicial authority and defying the rulings of higher courts.” (Report To The Judicial Council Of The Second Circuit, “Investigate Allegations of Judicial Misconduct,” 7/11/06)


  • Chatigny Said That Ross “Never Should Have Been Convicted.” “But looking at the record in a light most favorable to Mr. Ross, he never should have been convicted.”  (U.S. District Court For The District Of Connecticut, “Telephone Conference Before: Hon. Robert N. Chatigny,” Chief U.S.D.J., (465 F.3d at 542) 1/28/05)


  • Chatigny Said He Couldn’t “Live With” Sending Convicted Serial Killer Ross To His Death. “Ross has said he wants to die to end the anguish of his victims’ families. But U.S. District Judge Robert Chatigny said evidence including accounts from another inmate and a retired deputy warden have indicated that deplorable death row conditions may have played a significant role in Ross’ decision. ‘I see this happening and I can’t live with it myself,’ Chatigny said in a telephone conference with Paulding, according to court records. ‘What you are doing is terribly, terribly wrong. No matter how well motivated you are, you have a client whose competence is in serious doubt and you don’t know what you’re talking about.'” (“Conn. Execution Of Serial Killer Postponed, The Associated Press, 1/29/05)


  • Chatigny Said He Never Should Have Been Sentenced To Death Because “His Sexual Sadism, Which Was Found By Every Single Person Who Looked At Him, Is Clearly A Mitigating Factor.” (U.S. District Court For The District Of Connecticut, “Telephone Conference Before: Hon. Robert N. Chatigny,” Chief U.S.D.J., 1/28/05)


  • Chatigny Believed Ross “May Be The Least Culpable, The Least, Of The People On Death Row.” “I suggest to you that Michael Ross may be the least culpable, the least, of the people on death row…..So when he says, I feel that I’m the victim of a miscarriage of justice because they didn’t treat it as a mitigating factor, I can well understand where he’s coming from.” (U.S. District Court For The District Of Connecticut, “Telephone Conference Before: Hon. Robert N. Chatigny,” Chief U.S.D.J., (465 F.3d at 542) 1/28/05)




In 2005, “Seven State Prosecutors … Filed Complaints Against Federal Judge Robert N. Chatigny, Whose Stern Lecture And Threats To A Defense Lawyer Led To A Postponement Of Serial Killer Michael Ross’ Execution In January.” (“Complaints Filed Against Judge Who Derailed Ross’ Execution,” The Associated Press, 4/27/05)


Chatigny Threatened Ross’ Lawyer: “You Better Be Prepared To Deal With Me … I’ll Have Your Law License.” “So I warn you, Mr. Paulding, between now and whatever happens Sunday night, you better be prepared to live with yourself for the rest of your life.  And you better be prepared to deal with me if in the wake of this an investigation is conducted and it turns out that what Lopez says and what this former program director says is true, because I’ll have your law license.” (U.S. District Court For The District Of Connecticut, “Telephone Conference Before: Hon. Robert N. Chatigny,” Chief U.S.D.J., (465 F.3d at 542) 1/28/05)


Chatigny’s “Improper Threatening Conduct … Interfered With Both Paulding’s Rights As Counsel And Ross’s Right To Choose His Counsel.” “[T]he Complaints allege that Judge Chatigny’s efforts to persuade Paulding to investigate and pursue the issue of Ross’s competence included improper threatening conduct and interfered with both Paulding’s rights as counsel and Ross’s right to choose his counsel.” (Report To The Judicial Council Of The Second Circuit, “Investigate Allegations of Judicial Misconduct,” 7/11/06)

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