SENATOR LANZA, ASSEMBLYMAN TOBACCO AND THE FAMILY OF SLAIN POLICE OFFICER HARRY RYMAN CALL ON GOVERNOR SPITZER TO BACK AWAY FROM HIS ALLEGED deal to give cop killers, arsonists, rapists and other felons new parole hearings

Senator Andrew Lanza and Assemblyman Lou Tobacco stood with the family of slain police officer Harry Ryman in front of the 122nd Police Precinct to call on Governor Spitzer to back away from his alleged deal to give cop killers, arsonists, rapists and other felons new parole hearings.

As reported in the Daily News on November 8, 2007, the Spitzer administration is looking to cut a deal that would settle a suit filed in Manhattan Federal Court by roughly 1,000 violent convicts who contend they've repeatedly been denied parole by commissioners who focused only on the heinousness of the crimes.

Among those seeking new hearings is Barrington Young, an accomplice in the killing of off-duty Brooklyn cop Harry Ryman. In August of 1980, off-duty Police Officer Harry Ryman was gunned down outside his Flatlands, Brooklyn home while he heroically attempted to stop three men from stealing a neighbor’s car. Young, 48, is serving 25 years to life at the Green Haven Correctional Facility in Stormville and has been denied parole once because of the nature of the crime, his lawyers say.

"Allowing cop killers, arsonists and rapists to receive new parole hearings will increase the likelihood that they would be released from prison," said Senator Andrew Lanza (R - Staten Island). " There is a reason why these convicts have been denied parole in the past and it is because they have proven themselves to be among the most dangerous criminals in our society. We should be working to keep these depraved and dangerous individuals off the streets and away from innocent people rather than give them the opportunity to commit more heinous crimes. This is especially important in a State where there is no death penalty and where the governor seems to be unwilling to push for the reenactment of one."

Margaret Ryman-Rainone, daughter of slain police officer Harry Ryman said, "Is this the Governor’s way of supporting police officers and their families? Governor Spitzer should be more concerned about the law abiding citizens of New York rather than the criminals whose horrific acts have put them where they are today. The Ryman family is appalled by the governor’s lack of compassion for the victims and their families."

Rep. Vito Fossella (R-NY13) said, "The last thing New York should do is issue a "Get Out of Jail Free" card to a cop killer like Barrington Young. It is unconscionable that a cop killer would be sprung from jail after being denied parole. New York's criminal justice system is already too lenient on cop killers and other heinous criminals. Barrington Young deserves to spend every day of his sentence locked behind bars."

Assemblyman Lou Tobacco (R - South Shore) said, "This Governor promised to the people of New York that everything would change day one and I don't believe the people thought it meant cutting back door deals for Cop killers, rapists and felons. If there are any deals this Governor should be making, itshould be to get the death penalty reinstated for cop killers; not letting them free on parole!"

PBA president Patrick J. Lynch said, "In a state where there is no death penalty, there should be no parole for violent felons or murderers. It is our view that the state’s parole laws are far too lenient and allow too many violent criminals back onto our city’s streets only to commit more heinous acts. No cop killer should ever be given the opportunity to walk the streets a free person again. This union will vehemently oppose any attempt to make parole for violent felons, murderers and cop killers easier."

"Governor Spitzer campaigned on a promise to reinstate the death penalty for cop killers. He should make good on that promise and encourage the Assembly to pass the legislation that the Senate has passed," said Senator Andrew Lanza and Assemblyman Tobacco.

On May 14, 2007, the Senate passed legislation, (S.319), that would establish the death penalty for the intentional murder of a police officer, peace officer or an employee of the Department of Correctional Services. The Assembly has yet to bring this measure to a vote.

#####