If it seems too crazy to be true… chances are, it’s coming out of New York, California or Connecticut.  And this proposed bill is a straight up slap in the face to law enforcement officers and law-abiding citizens.

Law enforcement officials and New York City Republicans are fuming over a proposal by city Democrats.

Get this.  It would grant parole eligibility to older inmates who have served some prison time.  It’s being dubbed the “elder parole” bill.

Felons who are currently serving time, including rapists and murderers, would be released onto the street if the controversial state bill passes.  Any inmate aged 55 and older who has served at least 15 years in prison would be automatically eligible for parole.

On Fox and Friends First Monday, New York City councilman Joe Borelli blasted the “elder parole” bill and it’s automatic eligibility.

“These are not people that stole a candy bar, they’re not people that smoked a joint and got caught,” he said.

He pointed out 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.”

It slams it as “basically an amnesty program” for murderers, rapists, child molesters and others with Class A and Class B felonies.

He cited 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.

Senator Brad Hoylman, a Democrat from Manhatta, introduced the accompanying Senate bill about a week before Clark’s release.  She praised her parole:

“There are so many more Judith Clarks out there” and “we must work to fight for their freedom.”

Lest you think there’s no way this outrageous bill could pass, here’s what you should know.

It’s already moved through crime committees in both the Senate and Assembly.

If it becomes law, at 900 convicts could have a chance at freedom, according to Hoylman’s office.

Borelli, referencing the example of Judith Clark, gave a hard reality check:

“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.”

He slammed the bill as “misguided”.

“These are families who aren’t going to get their loved-ones back when they turn 55 or after 15 years,” he added.

It’s almost as if it’s a push to see who can go further left. 

“It’s just the New York State Democrats trying to win the contest of who could be the craziest,” Borelli said.

He also debunked the argument 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 snapped. “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.”

To be clear, even those serving life without parole sentences could benefit from the bill if it passes into law.

Criminals could be released 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 said.

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez is in support 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.

Hoylman argued that “we are looking at billions of dollars . . . that could be used toward a lot of other worthwhile purposes”.  It’s an argument quickly dismissed by Borelli.

“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.”

The bill was approved by the Senate Crime Victims, Crime and Correction.  It’s chaired by State Sen. Luis Sepulveda, D-Bronx. There was absolutely no debate on the bill at the meeting.  Sepulveda and other Democrats bragged about it being a money-saver for the state that would change the lives of aging parolees.

“This is, in terms of fiscal policy, a no-brainer,” Sepulveda said. “If you look at the recidivism rate of people over 55 that are released, it’s minuscule.”

It was proposed last year, but Republicans controlled the State Senate and it never stood a chance with them.  

The Release Aging People in Prison campaign is being lead by Jose Saldana, who is pushing the bill on the advocacy side.  The push has been happening for years, but now that Democrats have a majority of both houses of the Legislature for the first time in nearly a decade… it’s likely to go through.

“It would impact hundreds of elderly incarcerated men and women who are mentors and educators to countless people they’ve been incarcerated with,” Saldana said. “The bill offers hope and an opportunity for people to return to their families and home communities to continue to repair the harm they caused.”

illegal immigrants, Governor Brown, Governor Cuomo

 

His group is one of several pushing Gov. Andrew Cuomo to fully staff the state parole board. State law says there are supposed to be 19 commissioners on the board, but there are currently 12.  Only Cuomo can make appointments to it.

“Too many people have been unjustly denied release because of understaffing,” said Anthony Posada.  He’s the supervising attorney of the community justice unit at The Legal Aid Society.  “This devastates their families and communities, creates a lack of due process in the system and requires immediate action.”

The Governor’s spokesman said he’s deliberately slow-walking the appointments, as has been done in the past.

“Governor Cuomo has filled vacancies on the Board of Parole at the same level and pace as previous governors have for the past several decades,” the spokesman said. “He has prioritized the appointment of individuals with a diverse range of professional expertise, such as mental health professionals, attorneys, psychologists and others with criminal justice experience. The Governor has also supported additional reforms to the parole system.”