[Ppnews] Veronza Bowers, Jr. - Update

PPnews at freedomarchives.org PPnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Mar 24 14:06:12 EST 2005

Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2005 10:37:09 -0800

From: "Monty H. Levenson" <monty at shakuhachi.com>

Dear Friends,

On March 21, 2005, a hearing examiner recommended, for the second time, 
that Veronza be granted Mandatory Parole after serving a full 30-year term 
in federal prison, in addition to nearly one year of illegal detention 
beyond his sentence. His new release date is set for May 8, 2005.

As you may recall, in April 2004 Veronza's parole date was arbitrarily 
rescinded by the U.S. Parole Commission without a hearing. The Commission, 
however, was forced by court order to hold a hearing within sixty days so 
that his parole eligibility could be determined on its merits. At that 
hearing, as in the most recent hearing, the examiner recommended parole 
which was then scheduled for February 18th. However, at the very last 
minute (literally 15 minutes before he was to walk out of prison), the 
Commission rescinded Veronza's parole certificate pending a Reconsideration 
Hearing to take into account "new information." The supposedly "new 
information" had been submitted by the Grand Lodge of the Fraternal Order 
of Police via its regional office in Richmond, Virginia. The FOP claimed 
that family members of the officer killed had not been properly informed of 
the parole hearing and that, if set free, Veronza would be a threat to the 
lives of all police officers. This was clearly not "new evidence," just the 
FOP's spin on the perils of granting Veronza parole.

At this latest hearing, the examiner made the finding that there had been 
neither frequent nor serious violations of prison rules, nor was there 
evidence to support that Veronza would violate federal or local laws if 
granted parole. The claim of the FOP that, if released on parole, he would 
be a threat to society was found to be without merit. Based on these 
findings, the examiner made the ruling that Veronza is entitled to 
Mandatory Parole beginning on May 8, 2005.

It is important to remember that this decision will be effective if and 
only if the U.S. Parole Commission-a national body comprised of five Bush 
appointees (two of whom were appointed in the last few weeks)-accepts and 
adopts the conclusions of the examiner on these issues. Usually the 
findings of an examiner in these matters are reviewed by a single 
Commissioner. This will not occur with respect to the findings and 
recommendation handed down in Veronza's recent hearing. Instead, the 
Commission has taken the extraordinary step of asserting what is called 
"original jurisdiction" over his case. This means that the hearing 
examiner's conclusion that Veronza is entitled to be released on Mandatory 
Parole must be reviewed by all five Parole Commissioners who will make the 
ultimate decision.

It is agreed by all who are familiar with the workings of the U.S. Parole 
Commission that such actions are highly unusual and, indeed, unprecedented. 
Our lead attorney, Mr. Alan Chaset, a nationally-prominent expert on 
federal sentencing issues with over thirty years of experience, has never 
seen this occur before.

Please visit Veronza's web site (http://veronza.org/L-Help.html) and help 
support our efforts to remedy the injustice being done to him by making a 
contribution to his legal defense fund. Please do not attempt to 
communicate with the Commission. The record is closed in this matter and it 
is the opinion of Veronza's attorneys that a letter writing campaign 
directed at one of more the five Commissioners would have a negative, not a 
positive effect.

As always Veronza remains upbeat and confident that justice will prevail in 
his case. He sends his love and sincere thanks for your unyielding support. 
As for myself, I can only hope that his  optimism is proven true.

All the best,

PS If you prefer not to receive these updates, get back to me and I will 
remove your name from the list.



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