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.
December 14, 1990 |
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.
May 22, 1998 |
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.
March 8, 2013 |
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.
February 22, 2003 |
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.
November 20, 1995 |
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.
June 28, 1995 |
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.
May 10, 1995 |
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.
July 30, 2004 |
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.
June 19, 2013 |
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.