Finch Decries Parole Board’s Decision to Spring Cop-Killer from Prison

A statement by Assemblyman Gary D. Finch (R,C,I-Springport)
March 19, 2018

“Herman Bell assassinated two New York City police officers in cold blood. Seven times, his case was considered by the New York State Board of Parole. Seven times, it reached the only just conclusion: he would spend the rest of his life in prison.

“The board’s recent decision to grant parole to Herman Bell is disgusting. It is an insult to the memories of Joseph A. Piagentini and Waverly M. Jones. It devalues their brave service. Even the board’s internal findings acknowledged that his offense represents ‘one of the most supreme assaults against society.’ At trial, the defendants claimed that the slayings were a part of their “war against the United States.” I can scarcely imagine criminals less worthy of clemency.

“This action is endemic of a troubling trend in New York State: downstate politicians are thinking too much about criminals and too little about crime victims. The Assembly Majority wants free college for inmates. They think they deserve luxury items like free tablet computers. The administration has taken away disciplinary tools from correction officers while routinely turning their back on them in the media. We fight for popular, bipartisan initiatives, including parole reform and Brittany’s Law, year after year. They’re consistently blocked by downstate insiders.

“Hardworking, middle-class people who follow the law and do the right thing feel disconnected from a political system that pardons cop-killers while demonizing law enforcement. We need to earn back their trust.”