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NEWS
June 18, 2009
IN YOUR June 15 editorial ("Serious Parole Violations, Disturbing Trends in New Parole Board Report") and the one on June 17, ("Safety Money"), you refer to the tragedy of the three children and a mother killed by an individual fleeing police. No matter whether these individuals were involved in the juvenile or criminal-justice system, it's a horrible nightmare for the victims, family and community. However, you concluded from this story that it affirms the auditor general's report released last week.
NEWS
December 14, 1990 | By Howard Goodman, Inquirer Staff Writer
An inequitable and inefficient parole system is largely to blame for overcrowding in Pennsylvania's state prisons, leaders of state House and Senate Judiciary committees said yesterday. The lawmakers' solution: Abolish the state Board of Probation and Parole. At a news conference in Harrisburg, the committee members announced plans to introduce legislation soon after Jan. 1 that would place the Department of Corrections in charge of parole supervision and eliminate much of the guesswork over when an inmate's sentence would end. Instead of the current practice, in which the parole board evaluates an inmate's fitness to be freed before release, inmates would be let go automatically upon a date set by the trial judge.
SPORTS
May 22, 1998 | by Bernard Fernandez, Daily News Sports Writer
An HBO film crew was in Dr. Brian Raditz's Huntingdon Valley home to capture the happy moment when he received the call that would confirm long-incarcerated former junior middleweight contender Tony Ayala Jr. finally was granted his freedom by the New Jersey State Parole Board. The call came at 1:29 p.m. yesterday, but the pained expression on Raditz's face did not indicate a celebration was in order. "I've been maxed out," Ayala told Raditz, the onetime prison psychologist who now serves as the inmate/fighter's manager-adviser.
NEWS
February 22, 2003 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A federal appeals court yesterday gave Pennsylvania's parole board 45 days to decide the case of Louis Mickens-Thomas, the West Philadelphia man whose life murder sentence was commuted by Gov. Robert P. Casey in 1995 - and rebuffed ever since by parole officials. The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit unanimously affirmed a federal judge's ruling last year. The judge decided that the parole board's use of stricter 1996 rules in the cases of Mickens-Thomas and other inmates was unconstitutional retroactive punishment.
NEWS
March 8, 2013 | By Carolyn Davis, Inquirer Staff Writer
State Rep. Mike Vereb introduced legislation Wednesday that would give crime victims and their families the right to speak directly to the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole before parole decisions were made. Technically, the proposal is known as House Bill 492. But Vereb (R., Montgomery) said at a news conference in Norristown packed with state and local officials that he was naming it the "Ellen Gregory Robb Legislation. " "Out of the tragic, horrific death of Ellen Gregory Robb, we are seeing something very positive happen," said Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, who was among those who worked on the legislation with Vereb and the victim's family.
NEWS
November 20, 1995 | By Russell E. Eshleman Jr., INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Legislation that would overhaul the state Board of Probation and Parole as well as make changes to Pennsylvania's recently enacted gun law will highlight a brief pre-Thanksgiving session of the General Assembly. The House is expected to vote today on a bill that would expand the parole board from five to nine members and make it more difficult for violent offenders to be paroled. The bill was written in response to a number of cases, in particular that of Robert "Mudman" Simon, a Pennsylvania parolee who is accused of murdering a New Jersey police officer.
NEWS
June 28, 1995 | By Russell E. Eshleman Jr., INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU
Gov. Ridge removed Allen Castor Jr. as chairman of the Board of Probation and Parole yesterday and - bolstered by an inspector general's critical report on the agency - said further changes were forthcoming. Nicholas P. Muller, the former chief federal probation officer in Western Pennsylvania, will replace Castor. Ridge, speaking at a news conference, called Muller a "no-nonsense parole professional. " Of Castor, who began as a parole officer 23 years ago and was named chairman in 1993, the governor said: "His management style and approach does not reflect what I believe is necessary.
NEWS
May 10, 1995 | By Larry King and Maureen Graham, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS Inquier staff writers Chris Mondics and Russell E. Eshleman Jr. contributed to this article
Carbon County Judge John Lavelle says he has never met so dangerous a criminal as Robert "Mudman" Simon. In 1982, Lavelle sentenced Simon to the maximum of 10 to 20 years for the murder of a Drexel Hill woman. Ten years later, when Simon became eligible for parole, Lavelle sent a letter strongly warning state officials not to let him out. "I consider him one of the most dangerous individuals who ever appeared before me," Lavelle wrote in the May 7, 1992 letter. "This man has no respect for human life and I believe that it would be only a matter of time before he would kill again.
NEWS
June 19, 2013 | By Carolyn Davis, Inquirer Staff Writer
Gov. Corbett signed legislation Tuesday that will let crime victims and their families speak directly to members of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole before a decision is made on whether to release a prisoner. "Long overdue," said Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman. "It's amazing to me this isn't something that was done years ago. " The new law, effective Sept. 1, changes the Pennsylvania Crime Victims Act to clarify that victims or their representatives are entitled to meet with state parole board members during the review of a parole application.
NEWS
July 30, 2004 | By Troy Graham INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Thomas Trantino, New Jersey's longest-serving prison inmate, will be a free man once again today. The state parole board announced yesterday that it would lift a warrant filed against Trantino when he was arrested last year on charges of beating his girlfriend. A jury acquitted Trantino last week on six charges and deadlocked on a seventh charge. Prosecutors said they would not retry him on the remaining count, leaving his fate in the hands of the parole board. The board could have found that Trantino violated his lifetime parole even though he was acquitted of beating his girlfriend because the standard of proof for a parole violation is less than at a criminal trial.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
August 20, 2016 | By Samantha Melamed, Staff Writer
Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in January that states including Pennsylvania must resentence those given mandatory life-without-parole terms as juveniles, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams has signaled that parole will be the primary, perhaps only, means of release for the city's 300 or so juvenile lifers, the largest such population in the world. Now, a federal judge who remanded two cases, one from Philadelphia and another from Delaware County, has said such a resentencing scheme - accomplished by pairing a minimum sentence, such as 35 years, with a maximum of life - would violate the high court's ruling.
NEWS
August 1, 2016 | By Samantha Melamed, Staff Writer
After 43 years in prison for a West Chester purse-snatching that became a murder when the victim fell and died from the injuries, Earl Rice Jr., 60, finally had the chance to go before the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole. The board's decision last week: 43 years was long enough for a crime committed when Rice was just 17. Rice and three other men, including two from Philadelphia, were approved for parole, making them the first in Pennsylvania convicted of first- or second-degree murder ever to be granted parole.
NEWS
June 6, 2016 | By Samantha Melamed, Staff Writer
Over the last few decades, Philadelphia has become known as the juvenile-lifer capital of the world, home to 300 people sentenced as teens to die in prison. That era is rapidly drawing to a close. Two men locked up since the 1970s received new sentences Friday, making them eligible for parole immediately. It marks the start of a resentencing process in the city that could take up to three years. By the end of it, District Attorney Seth Williams expects almost no juveniles will be sentenced to life without parole - a fate the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miller v. Alabama in 2012 must be "uncommon," reserved for the "rare juvenile offender whose crime reflects irreparable corruption.
NEWS
May 18, 2016 | By Laura McCrystal, Staff Writer
Rafael Robb, a former University of Pennsylvania professor imprisoned for killing his wife in 2006, has been denied early release by the state parole board, the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office announced Monday. The board's decision means Robb will serve his full 10-year sentence for the death of Ellen Gregory Robb. But her family is still concerned about the fact that Robb will be free in January, at the end of his sentence. "Our goal is clearly to make sure that his probation terms are of the strictest and tightest that they should be for a violent offender of this nature," Gary Gregory, Ellen Robb's brother, said at a news conference Monday.
NEWS
March 29, 2016 | By Samantha Melamed, Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
February 25, 2016 | By Andrew Seidman, TRENTON BUREAU
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.
NEWS
February 10, 2016 | By Laura McCrystal, Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
May 11, 2015 | By Ronnie Polaneczky, Daily News Columnist
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?
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