[Ppnews] Veronza Bowers - USPC Decision

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Mon May 30 08:57:38 EDT 2005


Date: Sun, 29 May 2005 08:54:45 -0700

From: "Monty H. Levenson" <monty at shakuhachi.com>
Subject: Veronza - USPC Decision


Dear Family and Friends of Veronza,

I am writing to inform you that, after a lengthy deliberation, US Parole 
Commission has decided, once again, to grant Veronza Bowers, Jr. release on 
mandatory parole. The Parole Commission has set a new release date of June 
21, 2005 for him. Although this is wonderful news, past experience has 
shown that it is not yet time to celebrate. Twice before, Veronza's release 
was rescinded at the very last minute by parole authorities.

Here is what has happened and what we can expect:

A request to reconsider the earlier decision of the commissions that set a 
February, 2005 release date was made by the widow of the victim and the 
Fraternal Order of Police. This resulted in cancelation of Veronza's parole 
less than an hour before he was to be released from federal prison. The 
earlier decision was made by a single commissioner. Reconsideration of that 
decision was heard by the entire five person commission. One commissioner 
recused him or herself and the final vote was two votes for denial of 
parole and two votes in favor of parole. Under the rules applicable to the 
commission's decisions, this means that the original decision to grant 
parole must be reinstated and a new release date set. That date is June 21, 
2005.

It is important to understand that this decision could still be reversed. 
There are two possible events that could precipitate such a reversal: 1) 
another appeal by the Fraternal Order of Police and/or the widow; and, 2) 
intervention and an appeal by the United States Attorney General. Such 
appeals would be heard by the same five-member commission that just 
deadlocked two-to-two with one commissioner recused. Accordingly, the 
outcome would likely be the same as this most recent decision. However, if 
such an appeal is taken by the Attorney General, he would have standing to 
take the matter to court if the commission remained deadlocked. The appeal 
itself and any such court action could result in a further delay of 
Veronza's release.

It is likely that another storm of protest from law enforcement and their 
supporters regarding this decision and untrue and disturbing statements 
about Veronza will spew forth in the media. This has already begun to occur 
as evidenced by recent articles in the Los Angeles Times and U.S. Newswire. 
As upsetting and provocative as these articles are, we have decided that 
the best policy is to ignore anything in the press and focus on the fact 
that Veronza is one step closer to obtaining release on parole. As much as 
some of us would like to respond, our experience has proven that there is 
absolutely nothing to be gained by fanning the flames in a media war or 
dignifying such lies and distortions with a response.

In summary, this decision is good news but it is not the last word on the 
issue of Veronza's parole. That final word is when he is actually released 
and walks out of prison.

I want to personally thank all of you who have have helped with an 
incredible outpouring of support-both moral and financial-as well as those 
who took the time to write directly to the USPC on Veronza's behalf.

I will keep you posted as the situation evolves.

All the best,

Monty

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