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A06663 Summary:

COSPNSRDiPietro, Barclay, Brabenec, Miller B, Kolb, LiPetri, Mikulin, Smith, Norris, Morinello, Byrne, Ra, Goodell, Palmesano, Manktelow
Amd 259-i, Exec L
Provides that in the case of a defendant sentenced for certain violent felony offenses, the state parole board shall reconsider their findings about a defendant where parole is denied every sixty months.
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A06663 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to enacting "Ramona's Law"   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would extend the maximum number of months, from twenty four to sixty, as the time within which the Parole Board must set for reconsid- eration of a denied application for parole in cases where an inmate was sentenced for a specified violent felony offense.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1. States that this act shall be known and may be cited as "Ramona's Law." Sections 2 and 3. Amends Section 259-i (2) (a) (i) of the executive law by providing that should parole be denied. the board shall specify a date not more than sixty months from such determination for reconsider- ation in cases where an innate was sentenced for an eligible violent felony offense. For the purposes of this section an "eligible violent felony offense" shall mean a conviction for the Class A-1 felonies of Murder in the First Degree as defined in Section 125.27 of the Penal Law where a sentence other than death or life imprisonment without parole is imposed; Aggravated Murder as defined in Section 125.26 of the Penal Law where a sentence where a sentence other than death or life imprisonment without parole is imposed; Murder in the Second Degree as defined in Section 125.25 of the Penal Law where a sentence other than life impri- sonment without parole is imposed; the class A-II felonies of Predatory Sexual Assault as defined in Section 130.95 of the Penal Law and Preda- tory Sexual Assault of a Child as defined in Section 130.96 of the Penal Law ; and a conviction for a class B violent felony as defined in Section 70.02 of the Penal Law for those offenders sentenced to an inde- terminate sentence. Section 4. Effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: This legislation is to be known and may be cited as "Romana's Law" named after Romana Bantle-Fahy, the courageous survivor of the brutal beating, sexual assault, and kidnapping that took place in 1992. Ramona Bantle-Fahy was a 33 year-old real estate agent when a man called for an appointment to see a house for sale in Sardinia, New York on a Sunday afternoon. In the vacant house, he attacked her, tied her hands, threatened her with a knife, and raped her. He later pushed her down the stairs, shoved her into his car trunk, and drove away. Inside the dark trunk, Ramona was able to free her hands and worked on opening the trunk lock. She lifted the trunk lid and when the car slowed down, jumped out of the trunk and ran. The attacker stopped the car and ran after her, but lost sight of Ramona. The police subsequently arrested David Graczyk, who lived near the vacant house where the attack occurred. Graczyk was convicted of sodomy, rape, kidnapping and robbery, all class B violent felonies. The Judge sentenced him to 67 to 114 years in prison, but because of the sentenc- ing statute, the prison term became 25 to 50 years. Ramona remembers what the Judge said in court to Graczyk. "Why would you put her in the trunk other than to get rid of the witness? Then no one could testify against you." In 2017, Graczyk became eligible for parole, after serving his minimum sentence, but was denied. Currently when parole is denied, the Parole Board has the discretion to set the date for reconsideration for parole for any date within two years of the denial of parole. In many cases, especially those involving heinous acts, each time an inmate is consid- ered for parole, the victim or the victim's family must relive the horror of the crime for the sake of impressing upon the Parole Board the inappropriateness of early release. In January 2019, Ramona was prepar- ing a victim impact statement because her attacker, now in Groveland prison, was coming before the Parole Board in February. The possibility that he could be released terrified her. The Parole Board denied his parole. Only in the types of cases described above would the Parole Board have the ability to set the date for reconsideration anywhere between 24 and 60 months. This would afford terrified victims and grieving families a greater period of peace before having to relive the crime and testify at the next parole hearing.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2017-18 S.2997AJA.2350A (Similar) - Passed Senate; Died in Assembly 2015-16 S.1483A/A.1680A (Similar) - Passed Senate; Held in Assembly 2013-14 S.2486A/A.2774A (Similar) - Passed Senate; Held in Assembly 2011-12 S.1861A/A.2081A (Similar) 2009-10 S.425/A.1188 (Similar)   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to all future and currently incarcerated individuals sentenced for an eligible class A felony and to all currently incarcerated individuals sentenced for an eligible class B violent felony offense who are serving indeterminate sentences; provided that the amendments to paragraph (a) of 10 subdivision two of section 259-i of the executive law made by section two of this act shall be subject to the expiration and reversion of such paragraph pursuant to subdivision d of section 74 of chapter 3 of the laws of 1995, as amended, when upon such date the provisions of section three of this act shall take effect.
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