New York Daily News

November 22, 2010


Stop cop killers from manipulating parole hearings, police union says


A police union wants the parole board to stop cop killers from shopping for a favorable mix of commissioners — upping their shot at freedom, the Daily News has learned.

"These cop killers have developed the ability to identify which parole commissioners are holding hearings," said Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch. "If those commissioners are not to their liking, they simply adjourn their hearing until a more favorable panel convenes."

Lynch wrote to state Parole Board Chairwoman Andrea Evans earlier this month, asking for her to end what he called the "adjournment charade."

Inmates don't have to state a reason for seeking an adjournment.

They need two of three commissioners to sign off on their release - and Lynch claims cop killers know the names - even the faces - of the sympathetic ones. Parole board officials have previously insisted inmates do not know in advance which commissioners are hearing their case.

But Lynch argued cop killers are requesting adjournments with "increasing regularity."

Lynch said that as inmates wait for their turn before the parole board, they hear from other prisoners which commissioners are handling a hearing.

And in some cases, inmates are able to spot commissioners as they enter the building.

Since 1963, 172 NYPD cops have been killed in the line of duty, and 248 of their killers are imprisoned across the state, according to the PBA.

Two cop killers have been paroled within the last year.

PBA officials said at least four cop killers have recently asked for adjournments.

The Daily News reported exclusively in August on an adjournment requested by Samuel Hamilton, who was convicted of the 1982 murder of NYPD cop James Carragher.

Hamilton's next hearing was to include Commissioner Sister May Ross, a liberal nun who voted in 2009 to spring the killer of Bronx Assistant District Attorney Sean Healy.

Ross recused herself from that hearing following The News story.

A parole board official answered an email yesterday, but declined to offer a response to the PBA claims.