ONEONTA, 11/25/19 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I/ – Oneonta) today issued the following statement after learning of the parole denial for convicted killer David Dart:
“The parole denial for convicted killer David Dart is welcome news for the family of Gillian Gibbons and the safety of our entire community. Certainly, there will be one more thing for all of us to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
“This past September when I joined Jill’s sister, Jennifer Kirkpatrick, and a number of community members for an Oneonta rally calling for Justice for Gillian, we prayed for this outcome. A cold-blooded killer, who has shown no remorse, needs to stay in prison, and I am pleased that the parole board agreed.
“The next step is for the state legislature and the governor to stand up for crime victims and their families and pass legislation extending the time period between parole hearings. Victims and their families have been through enough and they shouldn’t have to continue to retell the horrific details of violent crimes every two years or less.”
In 1989, 18 year old Gillian ‘Jill’ Gibbons was stabbed to death in Oneonta. David Dart was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Dart has had multiple parole hearings since first becoming eligible in 2014.
Senate bill 4354 co-sponsored by Senator Seward would allow the New York State Parole Board to extend the period of time between reconsidering parole board denials from two years to five years when the inmate was sentenced for a violent crime.
In many cases, especially murder and other violent offenses, parole is denied multiple times and extending the timeframe for reconsideration would give the parole board greater discretion in setting hearing dates.
The senate has passed this legislation on multiple occasions with bi-partisan support, but the assembly has never voted on the measure. This year, the senate failed to vote on the measure as well.