Russell Carroll was on parole for the armed robbery of a defenseless woman when he and four other men robbed 11 people in a Queens social club and killed Police Officer Robert Sorrentino as he pursued them. Mitchell Martin was on probation when he shot and killed Police Officer James Whittington who had come to the aid of a woman with whom Martin was arguing. Both cop-killers are seeking parole and the families of the two murdered hero Police Officers, with the support and assistance of the NYC PBA, will deliver their victim impact statements opposing their release at separate parole hearings in Manhattan and on Long Island tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 2nd.
PBA President Patrick J. Lynch said:
“Today, we firmly oppose parole for the killers of two heroic Police Officers, James Whittington and Robert Sorrentino. Police Officer Whittington was off duty and was intervening in a dispute between a woman and a man with a gun. A career criminal, Mitchell Martin, had a lengthy record going back a decade and was on probation for another crime when he turned his gun on PO Whittington. The officer fell to the ground and this viscous miscreant stood over the hero cop and fired another round at the already wounded officer. He then ran like the rat that he was and is. The decision to release him on probation cost a hero cop his life and condemned his loved ones to a life of loss and despair. The system cannot make this mistake worse by granting this thug parole.
“Robert Sorrentino was a heroic Police Officer who was shot while pursuing a group of armed robbers, fatally wounding him. Ever the professional, the mortally wounded officer’s description of his assailants to his partner that fateful day, resulted in their arrest and incarceration. He underwent extensive surgery at St. John’s Hospital but tragically died from his wounds two weeks later, forever denying his family the joy of his presence in their lives. Although not the shooter, Russell Carroll, who was on parole for the armed robbery of a defenseless woman, was later arrested and convicted for his role in the Sorrentino’s murder. Had it been an option at the time, the judge noted he would have sentenced Sorrentino’s killers to death. Even in today’s progressive society, killing a police officer gets you life in prison without possibility of parole. NY State needs to pass legislation that will codify parole policies that conforms with the spirit of today’s laws regarding penalties for killing police officers.”
Ms. Nicole Demby, daughter of hero Police Officer James Whittington said:
“It is virtually impossible to find the words to express the dire sense of loss and the pain one experiences when a loved one, in this case my father, Police Officer James Whittington, is viscously murdered. He was shot and killed while intervening to help a woman being threatened by a man with a gun. The hurt, the loss and the longing is constant, never ending and nearly unbearable. His killer, Mitchell Martin, who had an extensive criminal record going back to the 1970s, was on probation at the time he murdered my father, a clear mistake made by the criminal justice system back then. Had he been incarcerated instead of given probation, he would not have been on that street corner threatening that woman at gunpoint and my father would be alive today. I will be telling this parole board that they must not compound the fatal mistake made by the system years ago by granting this cold-blooded, unremorseful cop-killer parole. He squandered his second chance and he should not get a third.”
Mrs. Edna Doyle, sister of Police Officer Sorrentino said:
“Our family is serving a sentence of life without my brother from which there is no parole. For many, the shock of the crime is lost with the passage of time but not for the victim’s family. The pain of that loss is as sharp and devastating today as it was on the day that Bobby died. We get no parole from that pain which is with us every day of our lives. The judge who passed sentence on Bobby’s killers said that if there were a death penalty then, he would have imposed it. We feel that anyone who is convicted of killing a police officer should stay in jail for the rest of his or her life. The sentence should be life without parole as it is today for cop-killers. Granting parole to cop-killers is simply wrong.”