New Bill Would Keep Violent Criminals Up For Parole Behind Bars in NYS
Members of the Senate Republican Conference have unveiled a parole reform package.
Senator Joseph Griffo says the package of bills is designed to protect crime victims by fixing the Governor’s out-of-control Parole Board and keeping violent criminals behind bars.
A bill sponsored by Griffo authorizes the State Parole Board to require a violent felony offender to serve his or her maximum term, if by clear and convincing evidence, release would pose an imminent threat to society.
It also authorizes the withholding of good behavior allowances of violent felony offenders by the state board of parole upon such a finding.
"The legislative majorities in Albany continue to advance policies that could release New York’s most dangerous criminals, some of whom have spent time locally while in prison,” . Griffo said. “We’ve seen how changing the bail laws have caused problems and potentially jeopardized public safety. It’s time for the NY legislature to put the public safety and well-being of New Yorkers before the needs of criminals and those incarcerated for unspeakable acts of violence.”
Under proposals put forward by the majorities, New York’s most dangerous criminals could automatically be eligible for parole, regardless of the severity of the crime or prior sentencing. Some of these names include:
David Berkowitz, aka the “Son of Sam:” Murdered six people and wounded seven others in a spree of shootings that occurred in 1976 and 1977 in New York City - sentenced 25 years to life.
Mark David Chapman: Murdered John Lennon in 1980 - sentenced 20 years to life. Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono has previously urged the Parole Board to keep Chapman in prison.
Colin Ferguson: Murdered six people and wounded 19 others in a shooting rampage on the Long Island Railroad in December 1993 - sentenced to 315 years to life in prison.
Joel Rifkin: Murdered at least nine women in New York City and Long Island, but is suspected of killing 17 women total between 1989 and 1993 - sentenced to 203 years to life in prison.