Bill offers parole to killers

Sydney Schaefer/Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — David Berkowitz, the killer known as Son of Sam, entered a state prison in November 1978 for murdering six people. His earliest release date was May 2018, but he was denied parole numerous times — possibly because, oh, I don’t know, he will kill again?

William Blake entered a state prison in July 1987 for fatally shooting an Onondaga County sheriff’s deputy named David Clark (first-degree murder) and seriously wounding another deputy, Bernard Meleski. His earliest release date is June 2060.

James Cahill entered a state prison in October 1999 for killing his wife with a baseball bat (second-degree murder) while she was in the hospital recovering from a beating he already gave her. Also, because that wasn’t enough, he poisoned her with cyanide. His earliest release date is April 2036.

Mark David Chapman entered a state prison in August 1981 for killing John Lennon (second-degree murder). His earliest release date was August 2016, but he has been denied parole.

Dean Faiello entered a state prison in December 2006 for killing a woman and burying her under a concrete slab in his house (first-degree assault). His earliest release date is July 2022.

Colin Ferguson entered a state prison on March 23, 1995, for murdering six people on a Long Island railroad train in December 1993 (second-degree murder). His earlier release date is August 2309.

John Jamelske entered a state prison in July 2003 for snatching five women over 15 years and imprisoning them in his homemade dungeon behind his house in Dewitt (first-degree kidnapping).

Robert Lawrence entered a state prison in May 1991 for killing police officer Wallie Howard while working undercover in a drug investigation. His earliest release date is October 2020.

Ralph Phillips entered a state prison in May 2006 for killing State Trooper Joseph Longobardo and wounding another. He was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

David Renz entered a state prison in May 2014 for murdering and raping a 10-year-old girl at the Great Northern Mall (first-degree murder). He was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

Joel Rifkin entered a state prison in September 1995 for the murders of nine women (second-degree murder) and suspected of 17 others. His earliest release date is February 2197.

Since we were all apparently asleep at the wheel when the bail reform bill was happening, I present the Elder Parole Bill. If this is passed, it will allow parole boards to consider whether inmates who have served at least 15 years of their sentences and are age 55 or older no longer pose safety risks to members of the public. This would include those who received life sentences as well as life without the possibility of parole.

This includes everyone listed in this letter. These are not people who can be rehabilitated under any hug-a-thug program.

Because bail reform just isn’t enough of a Cuomo show, the men and women in law enforcement now have to worry about murderers, serial murderers and other violent offenders being back on the streets. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not only tied the hands of law enforcement in keeping victims safe with his bail reform bill, but now we have to worry about someone like David Berkowitz getting out, killing again and possibly being released.

If you aren’t on the Repeal Bail Reform site, you should be. Only go there if you want to see the absolute devastation to families this bail reform bill has caused.

If you aren’t outraged, you should be. Today, I saw a sign saying, “Bail reform saves lives.”

Tell that to the families who lost loved ones in the last week due to “bail reform.”

Please contact your local and state representatives to change the existing bail reform laws and to stop the Elder Parole Bill.

Michael Doney is state president of the Association of Former NYS Troopers.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1


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(2) comments


The writer listed a bunch of killers who had been denied parole and that was somehow supposed to bolster the argument for not considering parole? If someone is dangerous they should be denied parole.


I didn’t read it as that. I think he (expert) just wanted to point out the massive fallacies of the “bail” reform. From my experience with friends in law, law enforcement, etc they all welcome reform of its for the common good and can improve the system. However, our politically motivated clown in Albany is trying to score crazy extreme political points (not sure what his end goal his...he will never be in a higher office than the one he is in now) at the expense of public safety. Sadly...the people of ny aren’t surprised or fooled.

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