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John Nuthall


March 28, 2018

PBA: Parole Panel’s decision to release three-time cop-killer Herman Bell violates the law

Former parole board member says: Bell’s sentencing judge
wanted him to serve “as long as legally permissible”

The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York (NYC PBA,) has located the critical sentencing minutes that the Parole Board illegally failed to consider before granting cold-blooded, three-time cop-killer Herman Bell parole.  In a letter to the board, the PBA cites both Criminal Procedure Law and Executive Law that requires the board to “obtain and consider” the recommendation of the sentencing court and district attorney prior to making its determination.  The Parole Board's failure to consider the sentencing minutes effectively invalidates their decision and requires, by law, a new hearing and the rescission of Bell’s release date.

 PBA President Patrick J. Lynch said:

“This parole panel has clearly violated the law by granting the release of three-time cop-killer Herman Bell without having reviewed all of the information required by statute.  This board did not consider the most damning and serious information regarding the commission of this heinous crime.  It bears saying again, if the planned, rehearsed, executed and celebrated cold-blooded murder of two hero police officers who were answering a fake call for help does not require life in prison without parole, what crime does?  With this new information, the law requires the rescission of Bell’s release and a new parole hearing to be conducted with all information seriously considered.”

Former Parole Board member and current State Senator Patrick M. Gallivan said:

“A review of the sentencing minutes indicates that the commissioners who voted to release Herman Bell did not properly take into consideration the recommendation of the judge in the case. Judge Greenfield made clear his intent that Bell serve a sentence as long as legally permissible.  He also ordered Bell’s New York sentence be served consecutive to an earlier sentence of 25 years he received in the state of California.  In light of this information, I urge the Board of Parole to suspend Herman Bell’s release and conduct a rescission hearing.”   

Also in a letter to the Parole Board, Senator Gallivan notes that there are case developments subsequent to the panel’s rendition of its decision to grant release which includes the “public outrage, which clearly demonstrates that a release decision so depreciates the seriousness of the crime as to undermine respect for the law. This includes the voices of the Mayor of New York City, William de Blasio, and Governor Andrew Cuomo, who stated, ‘it sends the wrong message,’ which is the very essence of the ‘deprecate’ standard of release as provided for in the Executive Law.”

Listed below are some of the highlights of information that were not considered by the parole panel from the sentencing minutes of the judge and district attorney:

Presently, Herman Bell’s earliest release date from prison is April 17, 2018.

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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.