March 29, 2016 |
AT AGE 60, Earl Rice Jr. is living for the future. "I train myself to get up at 4 every morning," he said, "just so when I go home, I'll be up before the sun rises and ready to go. " Rice has served 43 years toward a life sentence at Graterford state prison for a purse-snatching gone wrong at age 17. Now, for the first time, he has a chance at release. "There's a lot of people I want to spend time with and things I want to do," said Rice, now a great-grandfather. There's a trip to Disney World with his daughter that's decades overdue.
February 25, 2016 |
The New Jersey Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to grant parole to a 79-year-old man convicted in the 1973 murder of a state trooper, ruling that a lower court erred in endorsing his release without a full review by the state Parole Board. In a 4-1 decision, the high court reversed an Appellate Division ruling and ordered the Parole Board to conduct a full hearing to determine Sundiata Acoli's suitability for release. The court did not offer an opinion on his suitability, but handed down a narrow ruling on procedural grounds.
February 10, 2016 |
Montgomery County's district attorney joined relatives of Ellen Gregory Robb on Monday to publicly renew their opposition to parole for Rafael Robb, her husband and a former University of Pennsylvania professor, who is imprisoned for killing her. "Ellen is serving a lifetime sentence in her grave, and this man must fill his entire sentence," her brother Gary Gregory said at a news conference in Norristown. Rafael Robb pleaded guilty in 2007 to fatally bludgeoning his wife in their Upper Merion Township home in 2006 as she was wrapping Christmas presents.
May 11, 2015 |
I'VE SPOKEN WITH enough inmates to know that jail is a humiliating, dangerous and depressing experience, punctuated by crushing stretches of boredom, loneliness and yearning. Prison staffers don't speak highly of the corrections experience, either. But at least they get to escape when the shift is over. So what could entice former inmates and jail employees to gather for a reunion at a place where hard time happened on both sides of the bars? Especially when the place is Eastern State Penitentiary, whose foreboding gates shut for good in 1971?
August 14, 2014 |
William J. Gray, "the Jogging Rapist" who sexually assaulted 16 girls under age 18 in Olney and Northeast Philadelphia during a self-described "raping spree" in 1979, has been denied parole. It's the 10th time that the state has refused parole to Gray, 71, who is serving a sentence of 20 to 50 years in the State Correctional Institution at Waymart, near Scranton. Gray pleaded guilty to multiple counts of rape and assault in 1980. The Inquirer, which in June published a series of articles on the Jogging Rapist and his bid to get out of prison, has obtained a copy of a letter sent from the state Office of the Victim Advocate to one of his victims, Susanne Worsham, announcing the denial of parole.
May 11, 2014 |
Even with a supportive family waiting for him at home, the waning days of Carlos Merced's federal prison term were nerve wracking. "Where was I going to work? Was I going to be able to stay on the straight and narrow, or would I be back here?" the former inmate remembers thinking at the time. It was eight years ago this month that Merced's mother and younger brother drove from Camden to Lewisburg Federal Prison in Pennsylvania, where he had served 41/2 years. They took him to a halfway house in Philadelphia.
February 27, 2014 |
Former Pennsylvania House Speaker John M. Perzel, the Northeast Philadelphia legislator sent to prison for public corruption, is set to be paroled this week, earlier than his minimum sentence. Another former House speaker, H. William DeWeese, also sent to prison for his role in a separate corruption scandal, is scheduled for parole next month earlier than his minimum sentence. Perzel, 64, and DeWeese, 63, were eligible for reduced sentences under a program for nonviolent inmates who stay out of trouble while behind bars, said Sherry Tate, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole.
February 4, 2014 |
On calendars and in his head, Stephen Gallo tracks the number of days that have passed since his 19-year-old daughter, Nicole, was killed by an intoxicated driver. Gallo's mother, Donna, has watched her daughter's friends graduate from college, and seen her son pass his sister's age. Life moves on. But for the Gallos, time stopped the day Rachael Jankins killed Nicole in August 2009. When the Gallos learned that Jankins, 25, was up for parole last year, they took part in a new program that lets crime victims meet privately with the state parole board and testify about the impact of the crime.
September 16, 2013 |
MERCER, Pa. - When he finally stopped swinging a metal bar at her, Rafael Robb said, he glanced down at his wife crumpled on the kitchen floor. Her battered face was unrecognizable. "Like one of those horror movies," he said. "Like Frankenstein - except it was in my house. " Robb was a University of Pennsylvania economics professor when he bludgeoned his 49-year-old wife, Ellen Gregory Robb, in their Upper Merion home seven years ago. The killing shocked the region.