New York- State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C, Brooklyn), a former New York City Police Officer, today was joined by a coalition of New Yorkers, on the steps of New York City Hall, calling on Governor Eliot Spitzer to reject any agreement which would alter the governance of parole hearings in New York State and favor the rights of violent criminals, even Sam Berkowitz, the "Son-of-Sam," would have the opportunity for an early parole hearing before parole officers of his lawyers choice.
Senator Golden was joined by Congressman Vito Fossella, law enforcement personnel and union officials, and family members of the late Police Officer Harry Ryman. Barrington Young, one of the persons involved in the killing of Officer Ryman, would be eligible for a new parole hearing pending this settlement.
Senator Marty Golden stated, "The effort to provide 1,000 of New York State’s most vicious criminals with another opportunity to be released from prison is an outrageous threat to public safety that must be stopped. If this policy is approved, we are endangering the welfare of all New Yorkers and challenging the progress made in fighting crime, reducing homicides, and preventing robberies here in the Empire State."
Golden continued, "Those who kill police officers, and all citizens, do not deserve another chance to be a free member of our society. Police Officers Henry Ryman and David Guttenberg were killed by two of these men who would be eligible, Barrington Young and Pablo Costello. Officers Ryman and Guttenberg do not have another chance at life, and their killers should not have another chance at freedom. The families, in memory of their loved ones, urge the Governor to abandon this misguided attempt."
Senator Marty Golden late this week sent a letter to Chairman George Alexander of the New York State Board of Parole urging that this poorly conceived policy be rejected and to allow justice to prevail for the surviving family members and for the safety of all New Yorkers. In addition, Golden is preparing legislation that would statutorily prevent the New York State Parole Board from setting early parole hearings.
Rep. Vito Fossella (R-NY13) said, "The last thing New York should do is issue a "Get Out of Jail Free" card to a copkiller 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."
Senator Marty Golden is a former New York City Police Officer and is the sponsor of legislation in the State Senate that would reinstate the death penalty for cop-killers. Mr. Golden was the lead sponsor of the "Crimes Against Police" legislative package that increased the penalties for assaulting a police officer with a deadly weapon, attempting to murder a police officer, menacing with police officer, increasing the penalty for the possession of armor-piercing ammunition that can penetrate a cop’s bulletproof vest and for killing a cop intentionally.