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N23N-CR09-0090299S : SUPERIOR COURT

N23N-CR09-0090300S
STATE OF CONNECTICUT : G.A. 23

v. : AT NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT

BLAIR DAWSON : NOVEMBER 23, 2009

BEFORE THE HONORABLE EARL RICHARDS, III, JUDGE

A P P E A R A N C E S :

Representing the State:

ATTORNEY JOHN DOYLE, ESQ.


Office of the State’s Attorney
121 Elm Street
New Haven, CT 06510

Representing the Defendant:


ATTORNEY MICHAEL JEFFERSON, ESQ.
84 Orange Street
New Haven, CT 06510

Recorded By:
Susan Dikranian
Transcribed By:
Susan Dikranian
Court Recording Monitor
121 Elm Street
New Haven, CT 06510
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1 MR. DOYLE: Good morning, your Honor.

2 THE COURT: Good morning, Counsel.

3 MR. DOYLE: Your Honor, we’re here on the

4 matters of Blair Dawson. I don’t know what line

5 numbers they appear. They appear on –-

6 THE CLERK: One and two on the -–

7 MR. JEFFERSON: Good morning, your Honor, Mike

8 Jefferson for Mr. Blair.

9 THE COURT: Good morning.

10 THE CLERK: Seven and eight on the add-on.

11 MR. DOYLE: They are seven and eight on an add-

12 on docket this morning. The record should reflect

13 that on a prior occasion, actually on September 30,

14 2009, Mr. Dawson was sentenced by Judge Scarpellino

15 to one count of sale of narcotics in violation of

16 21a-277(a) to one year suspended, two year period of

17 probation. Also, to the charge of sale of a

18 controlled substance, one year suspended, two years

19 probation, and those charges ran concurrent. That

20 was based on pleas that were entered –- what date

21 were the pleas entered, madam clerk?

22 THE CLERK: June 4th.

23 MR. DOYLE: Pleas had been entered on June 4th

24 and there was a pre-sentence investigation report for

25 that day on September 30th.

26 Today there is an oral motion on behalf of both

27 the State and the defense through Mr. Jefferson, a


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1 motion to withdraw the guilty pleas in this matter

2 and we’re seceding –- we’re submitting jurisdiction

3 to the Court even though there’s been a final

4 judgment. By agreement we’re asking your Honor to

5 take action in this matter and vacate both of the

6 pleas in regards to this file.

7 The reason I would indicate is as follows: Mr.

8 Dawson was approximately one of seven individuals

9 arrested at Southern Connecticut State University

10 campus, alleged to have sold narcotics or controlled

11 substances to undercover police officers. One

12 individual was sentenced to a nine month period. He

13 was found in addition to doing sale, had a large

14 amount of narcotics in his room. One other

15 individual ended up with a felony conviction because

16 he had a prior misdemeanor record, but Mr. Dawson was

17 placed in the same situation with four other

18 individuals having no prior record. Those four other

19 individuals had sold, on one or two occasions, a

20 controlled substance, that being marijuana to an

21 undercover police officer. Mr. Dawson, the only

22 difference between Mr. Dawson and those other

23 individuals is that he sold a controlled substance,

24 that being marijuana, on one occasion, and an Oxy

25 Contin pill on another occasion.

26 Despite the State’s best efforts to oppose it,

27 those four other individuals applied for and were


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1 granted a two-year period of Accelerated

2 Rehabilitation on September 30th, the same day that

3 Mr. Dawson went to sentencing on these particular

4 charges.

5 It is the State’s position, and it will maintain

6 the position, and I think Mr. Jefferson and I’ve

7 agreed, we’ve addressed the prior Court on this

8 matter, that historically, traditionally, no one’s

9 arguing precedent, but it’s always been the position

10 of our office, at least my time as a prosecutor, that

11 I’ve never seen an individual be granted Accelerated

12 Rehabilitation on a sale of narcotics to an

13 undercover officer, which I think legally, under the

14 law, we would all agree is the probably the strongest

15 type of a case that the State has. However, they

16 were granted Accelerated Rehabilitation, and again,

17 the only difference being is that Mr. Dawson sold Oxy

18 Contin on one occasion as opposed to selling

19 marijuana and by the prior Court’s analogy, would’ve

20 been granted Accelerated Rehabilitation except for

21 that particular situation.

22 I’ve discussed this with my supervisors, Mr.

23 Strollo, as well as Mr. Dearington, and it is our

24 position, at this time, that I’m asking the pleas to

25 be vacated, and if the Court is inclined to vacate

26 the pleas, on the sale of narcotics substance charge,

27 docket ending in 299, I will be entering a nolle. I


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1 would ask that the sale of a controlled substance

2 matter be restored to the docket.

3 I should just make it clear that while we would

4 object to Accelerated Rehabilitation and we would

5 still think it is inappropriate for Mr. Dawson as

6 well as his co-defendants to get –-

7 THE COURT: Now, the co-defendants were guilty

8 of selling what?

9 MR. DOYLE: There were four co-defendants that

10 were granted Accelerated Rehabilitation for selling a

11 controlled substance, marijuana. Now, Mr. Dawson is

12 in the same situation as them.

13 THE COURT: All right.

14 MR. DOYLE: While overall we would still

15 maintain our objection to that, I agree, I believe

16 Mr. Jefferson is going to ask for his client to be

17 placed in the Accelerated Rehabilitation program.

18 And on this particular matter, on this particular

19 case, based on what happened with the co-defendants

20 within this particular university, these individuals

21 at Southern, I’m not going to object to the AR.

22 I would just indicate like I did on September

23 30th, I do think that it was inappropriate to grant

24 Accelerated Rehabilitation for the other four co-

25 defendants based on the situation, and the tenure of

26 other cases, of other individuals not as fortunate as

27 college students who come in with the same charges


5

1 who walk out of here or walk down the stairs with the

2 marshals with felony convictions. That’s all I have

3 as far as this matter, and I would ask the Court to

4 vacate the pleas and -–

5 THE COURT: Pleas vacated.

6 MR. DOYLE: Thank you.

7 THE COURT: Mr. Jefferson?

8 MR. JEFFERSON: Yes, your Honor. I’m entering

9 the –- making application for the Accelerated

10 Rehabilitation program. Your Honor, there is a

11 question of notice. I would ask that notice be

12 waived.

13 MR. DOYLE: Notice will be waived, your Honor,

14 and I will stipulate that he is eligible for that

15 program. I’m well aware of it by the fact that he -–

16 what the pre-sentence investigation report had

17 previously ordered detailed. He has no prior record.

18 THE COURT: All right. What would you like to

19 say, Attorney Jefferson?

20 MR. JEFFERSON: Given all that the State has

21 said, I concur with much of what the State has

22 presented to the Court, your Honor. You know, often

23 times, your Honor, when I come to court I’m seeking

24 mercy or justice for my client. In this matter I

25 guess I’m receiving –- hopefully will receive both.

26 It is a question of justice. As you know, your

27 Honor, and I think I just have to say this for the


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1 record, the –- I’m always concerned with the

2 appearance of fairness in our court system. I think

3 we all have to be -– we have to be concerned

4 with -– with the fact that defendants are treated

5 fairly; in this particular case, the fact that four

6 defendants who all attended the same school as my

7 client, and all happen to be white, received

8 Accelerated Rehabilitation, given the fact that

9 basically they all did the same thing concerns me

10 greatly.

11 And I spoke to the State about –- and my client

12 is obviously African American, and that concerned me,

13 and I spoke to the State about it, and the State

14 understood where I was coming from. And in the

15 interest of justice, your Honor, given my

16 presentation to the State, I guess we wound up on the

17 same page and the State thankfully took the action

18 that they’re taking by agreement with the Defense,

19 and so, I can’t ask for more. My client can’t ask

20 for more. He takes full responsibility for his

21 actions. He is certainly gracious and grateful for

22 what’s happening today. And so with that, your

23 Honor, I would respectfully request that the Court

24 grant this Accelerated Rehabilitation.

25 THE COURT: Anything you want to say, young man?

26 MR. DAWSON: No, that’s all.

27 THE COURT: All right. In Connecticut General


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1 Statute 54-56e obviously allows the Court to grant

2 Accelerated Rehabilitation in those instances where

3 the Court believes that the crime is not of a serious

4 nature and the defendant is not likely to offend

5 again in the future. This case obviously has had a

6 tortured history.

7 Young man, you are very fortunate that the –-

8 both your lawyer was able to convince the State to

9 allow the Court secede jurisdiction in this court

10 because my understanding, and I’ve never heard this

11 case before, the facts of this case before is that

12 the AR was already denied and you had already pleaded

13 guilty, so in the grand scheme of things, but for the

14 actions of the State, there would really be nothing

15 that I could do here because jurisdiction was already

16 taken out of the Court’s hands.

17 Your life would’ve been obviously effectively

18 over or at least your professional life. The reason

19 you’re going to college, I assume, is to better

20 yourself as a person and that would’ve been over

21 because it would’ve been almost impossible for you to

22 have earned an income with a felony conviction.

23 The only advice that I can give you is that as

24 an African American, who has been a young man your

25 age at one time, you shouldn’t give those who may

26 bear you ill will the rope to hang yourself. I think

27 justice in this case was delayed but this disposition


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1 is a fair and just disposition. And while delayed, I

2 think this illustrative of the fact, that at least in

3 this particular case, the system worked and you

4 should take this as an opportunity to turn your life

5 around and work doubly hard and not to become

6 embittered and wallow in self pity and mad at

7 society.

8 Your lawyer did a very good job for you. You

9 should thank not only your lawyer but the State for

10 taking position and the actions that it did. You

11 have certainly dodged a bullet in this case. At the

12 heart of it you were in this position because of your

13 own behavior and you were selling these narcotics or

14 these controlled substances but it was your actions

15 that got you into trouble and the mess that you were

16 in. You should never forget that.

17 With that being said, hopefully you’ll take this

18 as a learning example of something you can learn and

19 move ahead and hopefully you can do that.

20 I’m going to grant the AR, a period of two years

21 or what did the other individuals get?

22 MR. DOYLE: Two years.

23 MR. JEFFERSON: Two years.

24 THE COURT: Two-year AR. And again, you should

25 thank your lawyer. He worked very hard on your

26 behalf, and the State, and you should work doubly

27 hard to apply yourself, follow the law, and to work


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1 to make yourself a better citizen and work to better

2 society. All right.

3 MR. DAWSON: Thank you, your Honor.

4 MR. JEFFERSON: Thank you very much, your Honor.

5 MR. DOYLE: Thank you, your Honor.

6 THE COURT: Good luck.

7 THE CLERK: November 21, 2011. Cost and fees,

8 your Honor?

9 THE COURT: Imposed, cost and fees are imposed.

10 He can pay cost and fees?

11 MR. JEFFERSON: He can pay -– it’s $135, right?

12 THE COURT: Yes. Good luck, sir.

13 MR. DOYLE: Thank you, your Honor.

14 -- 0 --

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N23N-CR09-0090299S : SUPERIOR COURT
N23N-CR09-0090300S
STATE OF CONNECTICUT : G.A. 23

v. : AT NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT

BLAIR DAWSON : NOVEMBER 23, 2009

C E R T I F I C A T I O N

I hereby certify the foregoing pages are a true and


correct transcription of the audio recording of the above-

referenced case, heard in Superior Court, G.A. 23, New Haven,


Connecticut, before the Honorable Earl Richards, III, Judge, on
the 23rd day of November, 2009.

Dated this 24th day of November, 2009 in New Haven,


Connecticut.

________________________________
Susan Dikranian
Court Recording Monitor