Brother O’s nomination of Robert Chatigny (pronounced SHOT-ney) to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd District passed by Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee on a 10-8 party line vote June 10, 2010.
The Connecticut District judge not only gave slap-on-the-wrist sentences to child pornographers, but he also went to great lengths to protect a serial killer from a death sentence and was willing to strike down the state’s version of Megan’s Law.
In a documentary, convicted serial killer Michael Ross described how he tied up and put 14-year-old Leslie Shelley in the trunk of his car, and then took 14-year-old April Brunais from the trunk and raped and killed her and put her in the front seat. Ross said if he wasn’t caught, he’d still be killing women.
“[Michael Ross] never should have been convicted. Or if convicted, he never should have been sentenced to death.”—Judge Robert Chatigny, Obama nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd District
Twice Chatigny fought to stop Ross’ execution, but was overturned by the Supreme Court both times. In a feeble attempt to explain his actions to Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans, Chatigny said that “sexual sadism is clearly a mitigating factor”; in other words, sexual sadists merit empathy because they’re sick.
Chatigny’s history of actively empathizing with serial killers, rapists, sex offenders, and child pornographers typifies the caliber of people in the flotsam surrounding Brother O and his Bread and Circuses administration.
In the 7:17 video below, Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans question Judge (Empathy) Chatigny regarding his actions to keep a serial killer, the “Roadside Strangler,” off death row. The video also contains clips of Michael Ross, the convicted murderer of eight girls and women, ages 14 through 25.
[T]he biggest problem with Chatigny’s nomination is not the odd extremes to which he went to in order to protect a serial killer from a legally imposed death sentence, nor even his willingness to give light sentences for child pornography offenses and strike down Connecticut’s version of Megan’s Law.
The biggest problem is that Chatigny presided over the Ross serial killer case despite having previously worked for Ross as a lawyer, without making anyone else aware of that fact.—David Freddoso
Before Democrats attempted to deep-six a large number of President George W. Bush’s appellate court nominees, circuit nominations rarely received much attention. But one — Robert Chatigny (pronounced SHOT-ney), President Obama’s nominee for the 2nd Circuit — is getting a lot more attention than he’d like.
Much of this report is emotion-driven, and surely we’ll hear again before November about how every Judiciary Committee Democrat except Diane Feinstein voted to move this nomination forward.
But setting aside the political angle, the biggest problem with Chatigny’s nomination is not the odd extremes to which he went to in order to protect a serial killer from a legally imposed death sentence, nor even his willingness to give light sentences for child pornography offenses and strike down Connecticut’s version of Megan’s Law.
The biggest problem is that Chatigny presided over the Ross serial killer case despite having previously worked for Ross as a lawyer, without making anyone else aware of that fact. In 1992, Chatigny had been asked to request leave to file a motion on Ross’s behalf. He never actually filed the motion, but he reviewed a motion written by another lawyer and “saw to it that it was filed” (his words). It wasn’t a great deal of involvement, but Chatigny himself admits that it was enough that he would have recused himself had he remembered his involvement.
But it’s quite difficult to believe that Chatigny would forget doing anything related to the most infamous case in Connecticut in at least half a century, and the only capital case there in the previous forty years. Moreover, consider his bold remarks on the case. Ross, Chatigny said at one point, should “never have been convicted. Or if convicted, he never should have been sentenced to death.”
Does that sound like someone who has forgotten he ever worked on the case? It is therefore also difficult to believe that Chatigny was honest with the committee in saying he had forgotten.
Despite the best efforts by Media Matters but Truth Doesn’t to limit the damage, Senate Democrats in tough re-elect fights are not going to be falling all over themselves to vote for this guy.