New York Daily News

November 8, 2007

Gov. Spitzer eyes deal in suit to spring heinous killers

BY JOE MAHONEY in Albany and THOMAS ZAMBITO in New York
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

We want out

 

Here are some of the killers who may get new parole hearings:

1. Osborne (Sonny) Boalds, 69. Shot city cop Timothy Hurley, 32, during a botched robbery in Queens in March 1974. Has been in prison for 31 years. Denied parole six times.

2. Anthony Cisco, 66. Set fire that killed an East Northport, L.I., mom and her three children in 1980. Serving 25 years to life. Denied parole twice.

3. Pablo Costello, 51. Murdered city cop David Guttenberg, 49, during a holdup at a Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, auto parts store in 1978. Denied parole twice during his 26 years in prison.

4. Vincent Malerba, 54. Stabbed to death 23-year-old schoolteacher and bride-to-be Nadine Halpern in Brooklyn in February 1981. In prison for 24 years. Denied parole once.

5. Barrington Young, 48. Was an accomplice in the fatal August 1980 shooting of off-duty city cop Harry Ryman outside his Flatlands, Brooklyn, home. Serving 25 years to life. Denied parole once.

 

A rogue's gallery of cop killers, arsonists and rapists would win new parole hearings under a deal being worked out with the Spitzer administration.

The agreement would settle a suit filed in Manhattan Federal Court by roughly 1,000 violent convicts who contend they've repeatedly been denied parole by commissioners who focused only on the heinousness of the crimes.

The deal, still being negotiated by lawyers for the inmates and the state attorney general's office, would require the parole commissioners to consider an inmate's remorse and rehabilitation - as the law requires - in making a decision.

The longest-serving criminals would be among the first to get a new hearing.

Among them is Barrington Young, an accomplice in the August 1980 killing of off-duty Brooklyn cop Harry Ryman. The 43-year-old officer was still in his pajamas when he was gunned down outside his Flatlands home trying to stop three men from stealing a neighbor's car.

Young, 48, is serving 25 years to life at the Green Haven Correctional Facility in Stormville and has been denied parole once because of the nature of the crime, his lawyers say.

Also eligible is Osborne (Sonny) Boalds, 69, who fatally shot Officer Timothy Hurley during a robbery near a Queens bar in March 1974. Boalds has been denied parole six times during his 31 years in prison, his lawyers say.

Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said state officials shouldn't be wasting their time trying to get killers back on the street.

"In a state where there is no death penalty, there should be no parole for violent felons or murderers," Lynch said. "It is our view that the state's parole laws are far too lenient and allow too many violent criminals back onto our city's streets only to commit more heinous acts. No cop killer should ever be given the opportunity to walk the streets a free person again."

State officials declined to comment on the deal except to say that a settlement had not been finalized.

Lawyer Robert Isseks, who represents the inmates, said, "We are working out the wording of the settlement."

State Sen. George Winner (R-Elmira), chairman of the Senate Investigations Committee, accused the Spitzer administration of looking to cut a deal with killers before a judge has weighed in on whether the Pataki administration systematically rejected bids for release based on the nature of the crime.

"I don't know that is in the interest of the public," Winner said. "The motive for this case was to get people out of jail earlier than they were entitled to in the judgment of parole board members, who were considering the impact on community safety."

jmahoney@nydailynews.com