February 20, 2002 |
Since convicted murderer Thomas Trantino was released Feb. 11 from a Camden halfway house, he has lost his job, a chance to live in New York, and his residence in a Collingswood group home. Trantino, who spent 38 years behind bars for the slaying of two police officers in Bergen County, is back in Camden, in a homeless shelter. His attorney, Roger Lowenstein, contended that the state parole board was acting on a "secret agreement" with the victims' families to deny Trantino a job and housing.
September 17, 1998 |
Reversing a state Supreme Court decision, a federal judge has ordered the release of a convicted killer who claimed the state Parole Board imprisoned him as retaliation for his public criticism of the board. But freedom will have to wait for Neil Hunterson. The board received a stay on the order Tuesday, preventing Hunterson's release pending further review of the case. No date has been set for review. In the 39-page decision released last week, U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez criticized the board's stiff sentencing of Hunterson, who was paroled in 1992 on a murder conviction but jailed in June 1995 on a nine-month-old marijuana charge - even after state officials had agreed not to revoke his parole until the charge had gone to court.
April 5, 2002 |
Former parole board chairman Andrew Consovoy has been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing after a two-year investigation, a state official said yesterday. John Hagerty, a spokesman for the state Division of Criminal Justice within the Attorney General's Office, said a letter sent last month informed Consovoy's attorney that the investigation had been closed and that no charges would be filed. "Certainly, it was a thorough investigation, and ultimately it did not rise to the point where criminal charges should be filed," Hagerty said.
May 13, 1995 |
Still smarting from the release of Robert "Mudman" Simon, Gov. Ridge ordered Pennsylvania's top parole official yesterday to inform him immediately whenever a violent criminal is about to be freed from jail. In a blunt letter, Ridge told Allen Castor Jr., the chairman of the Board of Probation and Parole, that he should change the board's current policy and personally review parole approvals of violent criminals. On those cases, Ridge said, Castor should certify to him, through the state corrections commissioner, that all state laws have been obeyed, including notifying victims or their families of a pending release, which had not been done in Simon's case.
November 15, 2000 |
In hopes of settling a suit brought by state prisoners, the Whitman administration has agreed to eliminate the backlog of Parole Board hearings in 10 weeks and pay fines if it does not provide timely hearings during the next four years. The proposed settlement, signed by attorneys for both sides and filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Camden, was released yesterday by the state Attorney General's Office. It now goes to U.S. Magistrate Judge Joel A. Pisano, who is expected to consider it in early January, said Chuck Davis, a spokesman for the Attorney General's Office.
November 28, 1996 |
Every month it arrives in the mail, a dense document with names, dates, crimes and sentences - an encyclopedia of society's sins. It is the list of New Jersey inmates who will soon qualify for a parole hearing. "Since 1979, we've been publishing this thick thing. It looks like a phone book," says Robert M. Egles, the state parole board's executive director. Even though it enters the hands of only about 200 recipients - county prosecutors' offices, news media, judges, the attorney general's office and victims' rights groups - just printing the tome costs the state $15,000 a year.
April 5, 1994 |
Six Philadelphia legislators are protesting the abrupt transfer of a veteran administrator from the state Board of Probation and Parole's Philadelphia district office. In a letter sent late last month to Parole Board chairman Allen Castor, the legislators contended that the transfer of the deputy director of a special drug unit might have occurred because the administrator, Daniel Solla, became "a target of a small group of parole agents and special interest groups. " "It is our perception that this incident seems to be merely one of a number of managerial problems besetting the board with respect to the operation of its Philadelphia office," the letter states.
December 18, 1995 |
Warden Donald Vaughn, besieged by inmates as he walked down a cell block at Graterford Prison one day recently, pulled an envelope from his coat pocket to write down their questions and concerns. The envelope read: Parole. Parole. Parole. Parole. Parole. Parole. Parole. Parole. Parole. Some, who were close to completing their minimum sentences, hadn't yet heard from the parole board and wanted Vaughn to find out when they'd have a hearing. Others, who'd had a hearing months ago, wanted to know what the parole board had decided.
April 9, 2003 |
In a scathing report that all but calls the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole dysfunctional, Auditor General Robert P. Casey Jr. accused the board yesterday of putting communities in danger by its lackluster supervision of those under its watch. During the two-year period studied by his office, Casey said, the parole board lost track of 1,560 paroled prisoners, was inconsistent in sanctioning parolees, failed to enforce threatened punishments, and had a poor record in collecting a $25 monthly supervision fee. That resulted in a $14 million gap between what the board was owed and what it recovered.
May 12, 1995 |
It was wrong. Dead wrong. That's what the parole board chairman says about the decision to patrol Robert "Mudman" Simon, a convicted killer and Warlocks motorcycle gang member accused of killing a South Jersey police sergeant. "It was outrageous," said Allen Castor, the parole board chairman, speaking publicly for the first time yesterday about the parole. It was "inexcusable" and "incomprehensible and should never have occurred," he said. "It was a stupid move. " Simon and and fellow Warlock Charles "Shovel" Staples have been charged with the fatal shooting of Sgt. "Lee" Gonzalez, of Franklin Township, N.J., last Saturday night.