Garbarino: New York Should Support Victims Of Violent Crimes By Passing Ramona’s Law

May 21, 2019

Assemblyman Andrew Garbarino (R,C,I-Sayville) is pushing for the passage of Ramona’s Law (A.6663), a bill which would extend the maximum time scheduled between parole hearings from two to five years for criminals who have committed certain violent crimes.

“How can we ask victims of such heinous and violent crimes to relive these awful experiences every two years when their attacker may be up for release? New York must be a leader in helping victims become survivors and this means giving them the space and time to heal,” said Garbarino, who sits on the Assembly Committee on Codes. “New York must, and should, extend the time between parole hearings to up to five years for the sake of victims and to keep the public safe from our most violent criminals.”

The legislation is named after Ramona Bentle-Fahy who was brutally beaten, kidnapped and raped in 1992. She has had to face her attacker every two years and testify against him to ensure he is not released back into society. Other victims have also had to face the retraumatization the current two-year parole hearing schedule causes. Currently, 25 other states allow for a five-year schedule between parole hearings, according to an article by the Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice.

Ramona’s Law would apply to the following Class A-I and Class A-II felonies and Class B violent felonies, including:

  • Murder in the first degree;
  • Aggravated murder;
  • Murder in the second degree;
  • Rape in the first degree;
  • Sodomy in the first degree; and
  • Predatory sexual assault against a child.