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September 30, 2011

New NY parole law changes considerations for infamous murderer

Today's New York Law Journal has this interesting new article headlined "Law Requires Board to Access Rehabilitation in Parole Rulings," which starts this way:

Nearly half a century after the Kitty Genovese murder shocked the conscience of New York City and became a national symbol of urban apathy, her killer is coming up for parole for the 15th time. But this year the deal is a bit different for Winston Moseley, her assailant.

For the first time since he became eligible for parole in 1984, Mr. Moseley will appear before a parole board that now is being directed to look beyond his crime and criminal record, and consider if the 76-year-old who committed hideous crimes 47 years ago is the same person seeking freedom.

Nestled into budget legislation this year was a revision of Executive Law §259(c) that requires the parole board to establish and apply "risk and needs principles to measure the rehabilitation of persons appearing before the board" and the likelihood of success should the offender be released.  In the past, the board "could" consider those factors; as of today it "must" consider them.

Mr. Moseley will be among the first inmates evaluated under the revised system when he meets the parole board the week of Oct. 31.  Advocates who have long promoted parole reform are watching the process closely.  "We have always had a list of factors the board was supposed to consider, such as the seriousness of the crime, criminal history and participation in [rehabilitative] programs," said Philip M. Genty, a professor at Columbia Law School and director of its Prisoners and Families Clinic who has written about the new law for the New York Law Journal ("Changes to Parole Laws Signal Potentially Sweeping Policy Shift," Sept. 2).

The new law requires the parole board to adopt procedures that incorporate a growing body of social science research about assessing post-release needs and recidivism risks, according to Mr. Genty.  "The devil is in the details and it will depend on what regulations actually get written, but the change both rationalizes and modernizes the parole laws in ways that are long overdue," said Mr. Genty.

September 30, 2011 at 09:20 AM | Permalink

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Comments

I was wondering if you can answer one quick question. I thought I read somewhere on the internet that in New York State for a non-violent offender, that if the prisoner was one of good report, that once he serves 1/2 of his sentence, that the 2nd half could be commuted to 1/2 of the remaining term. For instance, an 18 month sentence would be reduced to 9 plus 4-1/2 months, or 13 1/2 months total. Is this a true statement, and if so, where can I find this legislation?

Posted by: Jerry Berman | Oct 27, 2011 2:27:39 PM

Dear Mr. Bergman:

I was released from prison last year and now am being harassed by the NYS Inspector Generals office. For instance, last week they sent a subpoena to my financial broker in an attempt to obtain copies of my financial records--most likely because I bought a home and a business since my release. I am now afraid they--the IG's office--is going to either try to find a creative way to freeze my assets or violate me. Anyway, I would appreciate it if I could speak to you or someone about my situation and experience with the IG's office.I can be reached by gmail or cell phone: bv505-506-1511. Hope to hear from you.

Sincerely

Joe Miceli

Posted by: Joseph Miceli | May 6, 2012 2:56:06 AM

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