New York Daily News

August 31, 2010


Cop-killer Samuel Hamilton angles for lenient parole panel in hopes of release

BY John Marzulli

A convicted cop killer may benefit from divine intervention in his latest bid for freedom after 30 years behind bars, the Daily News has learned.

Law enforcement sources say Samuel Hamilton is shopping for the right combination of parole commissioners to spring him for the 1982 murder of off-duty NYPD cop James Carragher, who was gunned down in a Brooklyn robbery.

He may have found his get-out-of-jail card in Sister Mary Ross, a liberal nun dubbed "Release 'em Ross" last year after she voted to spring the killer of Bronx Assistant District Attorney Sean Healy.

Two weeks ago, Hamilton abruptly asked for an adjournment of his parole interview before William Smith, a conservative commissioner named to the board by former Gov. Pataki and Jared Brown, a recent appointee of Gov. Paterson. Hamilton would've needed both commissioners' approval for release.

Now, Ross has been added to the panel for Hamilton's interview scheduled for Sept. 13.

He needs two out of three votes for release and has a good shot with Ross and Brown, sources said.

Parole Board spokesman Marc Violette said inmates don't know in advance which commissioners are hearing their case. "If there are 40 inmates waiting, they may ask each other, 'Who's in the room?'" Violette said, adding that the inmate does not have to state a reason for seeking an adjournment.

Hamilton, 49, has been turned down for parole five times.

"It is our view that no cop-killer should ever be granted parole," said Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch. "Furthermore, the practice of commissioner-shopping for favorable rulings must be stopped."

Carragher's granddaughter Elena Longoria urged the board to keep him locked up.

"He [Hamilton] talks about being reunited with his family," Longoria said. "We would like to be reunited with our grandfather, but we can't because of his [Hamilton's] actions."

The NYPD was outraged by the parole in June of cop-killer Shu'aib Raheem, 37 years after the murder of Officer Stephen Gilroy.