HARTFORD – House Republican Leader Themis Klarides and State Rep. Nicole Klarides-Ditria praised the unanimous passage of legislation that eliminated good time credits for convicts who were sentenced for serious felonies prior to 1994.
The legislation was inspired by a case in which a Seymour man convicted of murdering Joyce Stochmal in 1984 when she was 19, was released from prison in March. The measure was adopted unanimously by the House late Monday night.
“The tragic case of Joyce Stochmal brought renewed attention to the flaws in our criminal justice statutes which allowed her convicted murderer to get out of prison before he should have. The grief that Joyce’s family has suffered through for the last 33 years was compounded this year with the release of her killer,’’ Klarides said. “We felt the need to address those flaws that allowed some convicts to be awarded good time credit.
“Letting convicted murders walk from prison for good time credits is unacceptable,” added Klarides-Ditria. “Joyce’s killer should have never been given the opportunity to receive good time credits, and this legislation will prevent this situation from happening to other victim’s families. We are making sure that the victim’s families are coming first with this bill today.”
Those convicted of certain crimes prior to 1994 have been able to accumulate the credit. Laws were changed in 1995 and good time credit was replaced by the Risk Reduction program. Good time credit still applied to anyone incarcerated prior to 1995.
David Weinberg, 58, was sentenced to 60 years to life for the murder, but under an agreement with the prosecutors, he was released in March after serving more than 26 years. He accumulated enough good time credits behind bars which effectively brought his time in jail to nearly 40 years, or roughly two-thirds of his original sentence.
The Stochmal family was stunned to find out that Weinberg was going to be released.