Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Hold Parole Board, Probation Offices, and Judges Accountable for their Sentencing

One reason, in my opinion, for officer involved shootings is rarely mentioned by the media and obliquely alluded to by serious and credible academicians who study crime. It is the amount of violent criminals who are permitted to roam free seemingly immune to criminal prosecution or imprisonment.

Why is this? Well, one reason is that parole boards, district attorneys, probation offices and judges are not unaccountable for their actions. 

  • When a judge gives a lenient sentence to a violent defender who commits mayhem soon after being let out of jail no one says the judge should be sanctioned.
  • When a parole board releases violent criminals - even killers who kill again - they are not penalized for their actions.
  • When a DA does not ask for a strict sentence for someone who is placed on probation, neither the judge nor the DA are liable for the subsequent destruction committed by the  probation violator. Indeed, often the violator does not even serve prison time.

If you think these scenarios unlikely consider this, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2013, 9 percent of those who were on death row had a prior homicide conviction. Think about the implications of this. Nearly one in ten murderers was previously convicted of murder but for reasons the average citizen cannot understand were let loose in society to kill again. 

Now some of these murderers killed other inmates and some were prison escapees. But about 28 percent of all those on death row were either on probation or parole at the time they committed a murder.

Here is the link:

Here are links to two more articles about Phila. police officers who were killed by those who had prior violent felony convictions

Many groups and organizations profess to be interested in criminal justice reform and collect data on police misconduct. Lawyers sue cities on behalf of those who were victims of police misconduct. But these organizations never address the needs of crime victims - unless the victim happens to be a black person unjustifiably killed by a white police officer. As we know from the data - and even the sages at the Washington Post are starting to realize it - this is a rare occurrence.

I will believe these soi disant reformers are serious about criminal justice reform when they collect data about the number of murderers who were freed by parole boards or who were on probation or who had a prior murder conviction - who killed again. I will believe their desire to improve the criminal justice system when they sue murderers and rapists on behalf of their victims.

Until then I remain a skeptic. Meanwhile I will keep pushing for symposiums and writing articles abouit holdling the parole boards, probation department, DA's and judges more accountable.

Michael P. Tremoglie


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