Family calls on lawmakers to close ‘legal loophole’ which allowed convicted killer to go free

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HARTFORD -- The family of Joyce Stochmal attended a public hearing Monday morning at the state capitol to speak out on reforming the Good Time Credits program, a legacy program affecting around 1000 prison inmates.

The program was repealed in 1994 but inmates were still grandfathered in. It allows those inmates to accrue credit for good behavior that will reduce the time they have to serve behind bars. Stochmal's family asked lawmakers to consider closing the gap in order to keep other families from experiencing the same pain they've recently had to re-live.

Joyce Stochmal was the 19-year-old Seymour woman who was stabbed to death in 1984.

Joyce Stochmal

On March 2, her attacker, David Weinberg, was set free, despite the fact he was sentenced to a 60 years life sentence.

The Connecticut Innocence Project took Weinberg's case in 2010 and was able to poke holes in it. Now, with Weinberg out of prison, the Stochmal family is up in arms about his early release.

"We were shocked, we couldn't believe this was even possible, let alone would go forward," said Joe Stochmal, Joyce's younger brother.

The family has started a "Justice for Joyce" campaign in efforts to prevent the early release of convicted murderers as well as an attempt to repeal facets of prisoners receiving "good time credit" which helps with early releases.

David Weinberg

"People need to know the law does not necessarily protect the bulk of us, it's protecting the criminals right now," said Marianne Heffernan, Joyce's older sister.

Her brother, James Stochmal added, "This is an experience we have had that we don't want anyone else to go through."

The family has created a "Justice For Joyce" Facebook page.