[Ppnews] Veronza Bowers, Jr. Update

PPnews at freedomarchives.org PPnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Jun 22 11:34:01 EDT 2005

Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2005 19:35:08 -0700
To: Recipient List Suppressed:;
From: "Monty H. Levenson" <monty at shakuhachi.com>

Dear Friends,

As most of you know, today, June 21, 2005, was the day Veronza Bowers was 
to be released from federal prison on mandatory parole after more than 31 
years of incarceration. This date was based on a vote of the five-member 
U.S. Parole Commission in Washington, D.C., the highest governing body in 
our nation's parole system. We just learned that, once again, at the very 
last moment, Veronza's release has been cancelled.

This action was based on a petition filed by U.S. Attorney General Alberto 
Gonzales requesting that the National Appeals Board "reconsider" their 
decision granting him parole. The USPC has, thereby, "retarded" Veronza's 
release (no pun intended) "for a period not to exceed 60 days". This order 
for reconsideration by the Attorney General was made at the behest of a law 
enforcement group called the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). Our legal 
team strongly feels that this unprecedented action on the part of the USPC 
is totally illegal and based on no credible evidence whatsoever. It 
violates the Commission's own guidelines and procedural regulations. The 
rule of law that should guide the Commission in this case has clearly been 
undermined by political pressure exerted at the highest levels of the 
current administration.

The truth of the matter is that Veronza has served his full sentence under 
law plus 18 months of illegal detention. He has been a model prisoner with 
the highest possible Bureau of Prison rating and recommended for parole 
several times, only to have his release rescinded, literally, at the last 
minute. He received a very favorable review and recommendation for release 
based on rigorous psychological and personality testing administered by a 
highly-reputable independent agency. His petitions for parole have been 
strongly supported by a number of prison officials and administrators who 
worked closely with him over the years and can't say enough about his role 
as a mentor and role model to younger inmates. His efforts to be released 
have also been supported in writing by a former member of the USPC, head of 
the NY Parole Commission and a member of the U.S. Congress. Over the last 
three decades, he has worked hard to improve himself in all ways 
possible-personally, socially and spiritually. Yet, he continues to 
languish in prison, be subjected to threats and intimidation, demeaned by 
the news media and falsely accused by the very group that claims to be the 
guardian of law and order in our society. Today is a sad day for America 
and for the spirit of democracy in our land.

Needless to say, this is not the last word on the matter. I spoke with 
Veronza this afternoon and told him I would be writing. He sends his love 
and sincere appreciation to all for the faith and support you have shown. 
He asked me to tell you that this, more than anything, sustains him and 
gives him hope.

All the best,


PS On a personal note, I was hoping that this would be the very last 
"unsolicited" e-mail you will receive from me-one that ended on a positive 
note. If any of you would prefer to have your name removed from this list, 
please let me know and it will be done.


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