A NYS bill would permit the Board of Parole to evaluate all inmates over the age of 55 for possible parole release. Inmates eligible would be those who have served at least 15 years in prison regardless of completing their minimum sentence.
The measure doesn’t mandate an inmate’s release at 55 but would allow the state parole board to evaluate whether an older prisoner should be released after serving 15 consecutive years. But the idea is raising a red flag.
“Where the defendant has served 15 years. So if you’re looking at the types of cases that would be encompassed they would be violent felonies and they would be homicides,” said Sandra Doorley, Monroe County District Attorney.
According to Doorley, if this measure passes there won’t be any truth in sentencing for the victims or the victim’s families.
“Because they would be expecting that the defendant serves, what the court sentences them to,” said Doorley.
She highlighted a case in 2017 involving Kevin Quander, 59, who was a parolee and was released from state prison after serving nine years for robbery and went out into the community committed a homicide.
“If you look at what he did at age 60, you know the nature of the homicide and how violent it was I have concerns about 55-year-olds being released and how much they could do to people in our community,” said Doorley
The President of the Monroe County Chief Association says this measure takes away the retribution a particular defendant has done.
“ You do owe some time to society. You owe somebody some time to take away your right to live in a free world because of something that you did,” said James VanBrederode. “That is just another defeat for the victims of crime and in the state of New York.”
The bill was passed in the state Senate and is currently in the senate finance committee.