New York City Republicans and law enforcement officials are incensed over a proposal seeking to grant parole eligibility to older inmates who have served some prison time.
Currently imprisoned felons, including murderers and rapists, could be out on the street again if the controversial state bill passes, allowing inmates aged 55 and older who have been in prison at least 15 years to be eligible for parole.
New York City councilman Joe Borelli blasted the “elder parole” bill with its automatic eligibility during an appearance on “Fox & Friends First” Monday.
“These are not people that stole a candy bar, they’re not people that smoked a joint and got caught,” he said, contending that anyone in jail for 15 years or more has likely committed a “heinous crime” that “at 15 years prior, a judge and jury thought you deserved to be put away for almost the remainder of your life.”
Murderers, rapists, child molesters and others with Class A and Class B felonies would be eligible for parole under the proposed bill, which Borelli slammed as “basically an amnesty program,” citing the issues with the New York State Parole Board.
“So when they say eligibility of parole, given the history of this state’s parole board, we should all be concerned that this is going to be almost an amnesty program,” the Republican said.
According to the New York Post:
The legislation has quietly flown under the radar since being introduced in the Assembly in February by Queens Democrat David Weprin.
The release of Weather Underground terrorist Judith Clark, paroled earlier this month after serving more than 37 years in prison, gave the bill’s backers a new talking point.
Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan), who introduced the accompanying Senate bill about a week before Clark’s release, praised her parole, saying “there are so many more Judith Clarks out there” and “we must work to fight for their freedom.”
If the legislation — which has already moved through crime committees in both the Senate and Assembly — becomes law, 900 convicts could have a chance at freedom, according to Hoylman’s office.
Referring to the example of Judith Clark, Borelli said: “this is someone who for most of us – back here on planet earth and most of New York State, really – deserve to be, should be in jail for the remainder of their life.”
“These are families who aren’t going to get their loved-ones back when they turn 55 or after 15 years,” he added, slamming the bill as “misguided.”
“It’s just the New York State Democrats trying to win the contest of who could be the craziest,” Borelli added, debunking the contentions that critics have made about the expense of keeping the criminals behind bars, at taxpayer expense.
“It is expensive to keep people against their will in a place that prevents the rest of us from getting raped of murdered,” Borelli snarked. “Prison still has a punitive aspect to it. We should be following through on the commitment we made to the victims years prior and keep these folks in jail for the remainder of their sentence.”
Even those serving life without parole sentences could benefit from the bill if it passes into law, letting loose criminals such as ‘90s serial killer Joel Rifkin, the Queens Wendy’s massacre mastermind John Taylor, and Bronx child rapist Clarence Moss.
“The loved ones they lost are not coming back when the defendants turn 55 — they are never coming back,” Assistant District Attorney John Ryan told the New York Post.
But Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez argued in favor of the bill.
“If someone has gone through the process of changing themselves . . . there should be a mechanism for them to then appear before a parole board that will fully vet them,” he said, according to The Post.
And Hoylman’s argument that “we are looking at billions of dollars . . . that could be used toward a lot of other worthwhile purposes,” was dismissed by Borelli when he took on the money-saving argument.
“We’ve seen this act before,” he said Monday. “This is a summation of the priorities of the Democratic Party in 2019. They care more about the inmates than the corrections officers, they care more about the suspects than the cops, and – with respect to this – they care more about the criminals than the victims who’ve suffered.”