Senator Lavalle Calls for Repeal of Dangerous New Law

Kenneth P. LaValle

October 14, 2009

New York Daily News Dubs Change “Khadafy’s Law”

Senator Kenneth P. LaValle is joining Senate Republicans in calling for the repeal of a new law that allows dangerous criminals currently serving life sentences to qualify for parole.  Under the measure, convicted murderers, rapists, and sex criminals can seek a non-terminal medical release and be freed from prison.

The change in law has been dubbed “Khadafy’s Law” by the New York Daily News and is likened to Scotland’s decision to free the Libyan terrorist convicted in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing based on reports that he may be dying.  The amended medical parole provision allows an inmate to be released if he or she is deemed physically or cognitively incapable of presenting a danger to society.  However, the details of the medical claim would be protected by confidentiality laws. 

This issue recently hit home when Gregory Felder, a three time convicted felon serving 25 years to life, had a medical parole application submitted on his behalf.  Felder was convicted of shooting and killing a disabled Radio Shack employee during a 2004 botched robbery.  Ironically, Felder was on parole at the time.  On Friday, October 9, the state parole board ruled that Felder’s release would risk the “safety of the community” and “undermine respect for the law.”

“The amendment to the state’s medical parole provision was criticized and voted down by Senate Republicans, but the Democrats pushed it through, weakening the state’s criminal justice laws and putting law-abiding citizens at risk,” said Senator LaValle.  “The change in law is an outrage and a grave injustice to the families and victims of heinous and tragic crimes.”

Senator LaValle noted that in addition to this last minute budget provision, the Democrats also approved overturning the state’s long-standing drug laws, allowing more than a thousand serious drug offenders to be released from New York jails.

“The changes made to our criminal justice laws defy all common sense,” said Senator LaValle “Basically, the Democrats have allowed convicted criminals with extensive and dangerous criminal histories to be back on the streets threatening the safety of our communities.”