HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Pat and Jane Mascia sat and listened as their son’s killer, Anthony Azukas, addressed them as he urged the Connecticut Board of Pardons and Paroles to release him halfway through his 60-year sentence.
“From that, you know, from the deepest depths of my soul, I want them to know I am sorry,” he said when he had the chance to address the family. “I wish that I could take it back, but I can’t.”
Scott Mascia was killed in 1996 in Waterbury. Azukas was convicted four years later.
The Mascia family applauds the decision. If he has to live without his son, Pat Mascia said, then his son’s killer should serve his full sentence.
“He was supposed to be in jail for 60 years with no parole,” Pat Mascia said. “I don’t know what happened over there, you know what I mean. I thought they were going to keep their word.”
Last year, the board of parole began shortening sentences. Since then, 71 inmates — 44 of them convicted of murder — have been released.
Last week, Gov. Ned Lamont removed Carleton Giles, who is a former police officer, from his position as chair of the board. Giles is still allowed to be a member.
The decision to pause commutations was made this week during a meeting between Lamont, the board and leaders on the legislature’s judiciary committee.
“Our office is committed to continued bipartisan collaboration…to ensure that the communication process at the board of pardons and paroles balances the importance of second chances for Connecticut prisoners, the perspectives of victims, and the public safety considerations.” a statement from Lamont reads.
Republicans applauded the decision.
“We continue to push for an open and transparent process where every victim, lawmaker, prosecutor and defense attorney has input on how this commutations policy should be revised,” Sen. Heather Somers (R-District 18).
Families like the Mascias dread the next hearing.
“When this comes up, OK, here we go again,” Jane Mascia said. “We have to go through this whole nonsense hoping that he doesn’t get out.”
Pat Mascia said he lets his son know about every update.
“I go to the cemetery every day,” Pat Mascia said. “I just came back and I talk to my son there. You know, you talk to him and I tell him what’s going on.”