Connecticut’s longest-serving Chief State’s Attorney Kevin T. Kane will retire on Nov. 1, Governor Ned Lamont announced on Tuesday.
The chief state’s attorney leads the Connecticut’s Division of Criminal Justice, an independent body in charge of investigating and prosecuting all criminal cases within the state. Kane was appointed to the position in 2006 by the state’s Criminal Justice Commission, an independent committee comprised of members nominated by the governor and confirmed by the state’s General Assembly.
“[Kane] has worked tirelessly and dedicated his career to pursuing justice and ensuring fairness in our criminal justice system,” Lamont said in the announcement.
Kane began his career as an assistant prosecuting attorney in the former Ninth Circuit in Middletown almost 47 years ago. A year later in 1973, Kane was promoted to the position of prosecuting attorney, and he was later transferred to New London in 1986. There, he worked up the ladder to become the district’s state attorney in 1995, a position he held until his appointment as the chief state’s attorney a decade later.
Throughout his career, Kane has prosecuted a number of high-profile cases, including that of Michael Ross, a serial killer who raped and murdered eight women in the 1980s. Ross, who was given the death penalty, was the last person to be executed in Connecticut before the state abolished capital punishment in 2012. Kane also prosecuted Beth Ann Carpenter, who was convicted of murder and conspiracy in 2002 and is currently serving a life sentence.
In a statement on Kane’s retirement, the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut noted that Connecticut’s chief state’s attorney has the power to “change the tone and culture for all prosecutors in our state”.
“The selection of a new chief state’s attorney presents an opportunity for Connecticut to become a state where prosecutors are active and vocal forces for decarceration and racial justice,’’ the statement said. “The ACLU of Connecticut and our Smart Justice campaign will closely monitor the search for the next chief state’s attorney, and we will strongly advocate for the state to select someone who will fully embrace their role in ending mass incarceration and racism.”
Kane’s successor will be appointed by the Criminal Justice Commission, currently comprised of Kane, Justice Andrew J. McDonald — the chairman of the commission — and five other voting members. While Kane is a non-voting member of the Commission, he will not participate in the process to choose his successor.
The chief state’s attorney position was created in 1974.
Aakshi Chaba | firstname.lastname@example.org .