[Pnews] The Meaning of Parole

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Mar 27 17:19:33 EDT 2018


  Opinion | The Meaning of Parole

March 27, 2018

*To the Editor:*

Re “Parole Must Mean Something 
(editorial, March 19), about the New York State Parole Board’s decision 
to grant parole to Herman Bell, who was convicted in the 1971 killings 
of two police officers:

Since my retirement as a commissioner on the board, I have been 
advocating for the release of long-termers who are now aged or addled 
but transformed by time and maturity, and who pose no risk to the 
community. I can do this because I’m not concerned about political 
fallout and my job security.

So I congratulate the board for its integrity in granting parole to Mr. 
Bell. The decision shows that the panel members understand their role: 
to assess the candidate’s risk to the public after the person has served 
the court-determined sentence and to grant parole, with continued 
supervision in the community, /unless/ the parole panel can articulate 
clearly why the person poses a threat.

This job does not include re-sentencing because of the nature of a 
crime; your editorial is entirely correct that “vengeance is not 
supposed to guide a system of justice.” Victims who call for eternal 
lockup should also know that vengeance doesn’t heal.



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