CT man arrested in Los Angeles reignites debate over early release from prison program in CT

CHESHIRE -- A man arrested in Los Angeles and accused of trying to murder a woman, has already served prison time for strangulation in Connecticut.

His case is renewing the back-and-forth over the early release program in Connecticut's prison system.

Danuel Drayton is 27-years-old and he has a criminal past on both coasts. He is currently on probation in Connecticut for harassment and missed mandatory check-ins since May.

During that time, New York police said he killed a New York nurse on July 17. Investigators said he meets the women that he attacks on dating apps.
Part of Drayton’s criminal past in Connecticut includes a prison sentence for strangling a woman in 2011.

He also did time for violating a protective order.

On that case, he was released from prison in April 2017 after earning credits through the early release program. It's something that Senator Len Suzio said should have never happened based on his criminal past.

“He's one of thousands of criminals that have returned to a life of crime, not having any kind of reform whatsoever or remorse,” said Suzio, a Republican state senator who has been against the program since its inception.

“They just resume their life of crime and Connecticut should not be letting these people out early. He's a good example of that. He got out early, courtesy of the early release program,” said Suzio.

Scott Semple, the commissioner for the Department of Corrections said an inmate has to meet certain requirements for the early release program and can earn up to 60 days a year off of their sentence.

He said that the program uses various classes that help reform criminals in other ways while incentivizing an early release.

“We require people to do certain things [and] to be involved in certain courses because we want to assess whether they're committed,” he said. “Sometimes we may have someone take a course or take a class that maybe they've taken before and were presenting it as a redundant course, but we're challenging that person to show us that they're being responsible.”

The program was passed in 2011 and has been hotly contested ever since.

When Drayton was released from prison in 2017, he had just finished serving 22 months for violating a protective order. Commissioner Semple said he was only released seven weeks prior to his original sentence completion date.

Drayton has also told Los Angeles police that he killed as many as seven people, including two in Connecticut.