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PBA Shield

John Nuthall


April 1, 2018

PBA calls foul as New York State Parole Board attempts an end run around the law

Following an attempt to end run the law that requires rescission of the parole date and the establishment of a new panel to rehear the case of three-time cop-killer Herman Bell, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York (NYCPBA) is calling upon the New York State Parole Board Chairwoman, Tina M. Stanford, an officer of the court, to ensure that her agency follows the letter of the law.  In a third letter to the board, the union cites an attempt to end run their failure to “obtain and consider” the sentencing minutes in the original trial, a clear violation of law (Executive Law 259-I,) which makes mandatory the cancellation of the parole date and the establishment of a new parole panel to consider the case in order to avoid “rubber stamping” the flawed decision.  

The board attempted to end run the law by having an unidentified state spokesman tell a reporter that “since ordering Bell freed, the board has read over the minutes, but the document didn’t change their position.”  Simply admitting their failure to consider the sentencing minutes before making their decision triggers a rescission of the parole date and requires a new panel to rehear the case.  With the release of the cold-blooded cop-killer just two weeks away, the board has failed to answer any of the concerns raised by the PBA and family members of the murdered police officers giving the appearance of stalling until the release date in an attempt to ignore their illegal conduct.

PBA president Patrick J. Lynch said: 

“This rogue parole board acts as if their authority comes directly from above and not from the clear and unambiguous State laws that govern their behavior.  Chairwoman Stanford is herself an officer of the court who has a sworn duty to uphold the law in the performance of her panel’s duties. The PBA will hold her fully accountable if she allows her agency to continue to flaunt the law in an effort to ignore their flawed decision. The Governor of our State and the Mayor of our City have both given strong indications that they disagree with this panel’s decision. They both must insist on full compliance with the laws of the state and allow this case to be reheard by a panel that will give full consideration to all of the facts and will comply fully with the letter of the law.

“It is clear that the recently enacted parole guidelines have a fatal flaw in that they would grant parole to the worst, sadistic mass-killer on the face of the earth as long as he or she didn’t fight in prison, earned a few mail order degrees, served a minimum sentence and learned to play an instrument.

“The guidelines have no consideration for holding criminals accountable for their crimes against humanity. Today’s laws recognized those needs by providing a sentence of life in prison without parole for those who kill police officers. Having killed police officers between the time that the death penalty was ruled unconstitutional and the passing of legislation establishment of life without parole as a legal sentence shouldn’t let those vicious and sadistic killers have a pass. Parole is simply not appropriate for people who plan and carry out the murder of police officers simply for wearing the blue uniform.  Some evil cannot be rehabilitated and should never be rewarded with parole.”

Herman Bell’s parole date has been set for April 17th.  His murdering partner, Anthony Bottom, will come up for parole consideration in June.

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The Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York (PBA) is the largest municipal police union in the nation and represents nearly 50,000 active and retired NYC police officers.