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       1      JOINT HEARING BEFORE THE NEW YORK STATE SENATE
              STANDING COMMITTEE ON CRIME VICTIMS, CRIME AND
       2      CORRECTION
              AND
       3      STANDING COMMITTEE ON ELECTIONS
             -----------------------------------------------------
       4
                                PUBLIC HEARINGS:
       5
              TO EXAMINE THE STATE�S CURRENT PAROLE POLICIES AND
       6           GOVERNOR CUOMO�S EXECUTIVE ORDER ALLOWING
                CONDITIONAL PARDONS THAT ENABLE PAROLEES TO VOTE
       7
             -----------------------------------------------------
       8
                     William P. Bennett Hicksville Community Center
       9             28 West Carl Street
                     Hicksville, New York
      10
                     October 2, 2018, at 11:00 a.m.
      11

      12      PRESIDING:

      13         Senator Patrick M. Gallivan, Chairman
                 NYS Senate Standing Committee on Crime Victims,
      14         Crime and Correction

      15
              SPONSOR:
      16
                 Senator Elaine Phillips
      17

      18      PRESENT:

      19         Senator John J. Flanagan
                 New York State Senate Temporary President
      20         and Majority Leader

      21         Senator Philip M. Boyle

      22         Senator Carl L. Marcellino

      23

      24

      25







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       1
              SPEAKERS:                               PAGE  QUESTIONS
       2
              Barbara Connelly                          16       51
       3      Founder
              Long Island/New York Metro Parents
       4        and Other Survivors of
                Murdered Victims Outreach
       5
              Laura Ahern, Esq.                         16       51
       6      Executive Director
              Crime Victim Center and
       7        Parents for Megan's Law

       8      Daniel Fitzpatrick                        57       71
              Treasurer
       9      New York State Association of PBAs

      10      James Hughes                              57       71
              President of Suffolk County Detectives
      11        Association, and
              An Executive Board Member of
      12        New York State Association of PBAs

      13      Pat Saunders                              57       71
              Sergeant in Arms
      14      Suffolk County PBA

      15      Dr. Jennifer Morrison                     74       99
              Superintendent
      16      New Hyde Park-Garden City Park USFD

      17      Michael Nagler, Ph.D.                     74       99
              Superintendent of Mineola Public
      18        Schools, and
              President of Nassau County
      19        Council of School Superintendents

      20      James Reddan                              74       99
              Representative of
      21        New Hyde Park-Garden City Park
                Committee Against Polling in Schools,
      22      and the New Hyde Park Memorial
                High School Parent-Teacher-Student
      23        Association

      24

      25







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              SPEAKERS:                               PAGE  QUESTIONS
       2
              James Royall                             111      120
       3      Reentry Specialist
              Jared Chausow
       4      Senior Policy Specialist
              Brooklyn Defender Services
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       1             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  So if everyone could take

       2      a seat, we're going to begin.

       3             Thank you.

       4             If everyone could take a seat, please.

       5             Thank you.

       6             I just had to look up and find a clock,

       7      because I couldn't -- didn't know if it was morning

       8      or afternoon, but it is still morning.

       9             So, good morning, everyone, and thank you for

      10      coming to the 7th Senate District.

      11             My name is Senator Elaine Phillips.

      12             I am proud to be hosting this event in my

      13      Senate district today, beautiful Hicksville.

      14             And thank you to the Hicksville Community

      15      Center for allowing us to use this.

      16             I will be introducing my colleagues in a

      17      second.

      18             But today's public hearing is from the Senate

      19      Standing Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and

      20      Correction, and the Senate Standing Committee on

      21      Elections.

      22             And the purpose of today's public hearing is

      23      to examine both the statutory procedures parole

      24      board members are required to consider when making a

      25      decision, and compliance with same, as well as the







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       1      procedures used in issuing conditional pardons,

       2      pursuant to Executive Order 181.

       3             And my colleague, in a few minutes,

       4      Senator Pat Gallivan from Western New York, will be

       5      going over today's procedures in more detail.

       6             But let me explain -- because I'm not on

       7      either one of these committees, but let me explain

       8      my involvement.

       9             And my involvement, really, is taken from

      10      school security, and what the impact of these

      11      pardons were on our schools.

      12             And I'm very fortunate to have two school

      13      superintendents who I have dealt with very closely,

      14      who will testify today.

      15             But, you know, the most important thing that

      16      we can do in today's day and age is to make sure

      17      that our children are protected.

      18             So you'll hear a little bit.

      19             In this public hearing, we'll take a

      20      little -- probably more time when it comes to the

      21      impact on our schools and safety here throughout

      22      New York State.

      23             So without any further delay, I am truly

      24      proud to introduce the Majority Leader of the

      25      New York State Senate, and the Temporary President,







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       1      Senator John Flanagan.

       2             SENATOR FLANAGAN:  Good morning, everyone.

       3             I'm delighted to be here.

       4             I'm going to have to find my way to Albany

       5      relatively soon, but, great to be with my

       6      colleagues:

       7             Senator Pat Gallivan, who's a leader, who has

       8      a stellar background.  Actually was a member of the

       9      parole board.  So he knows from whence he comes and

      10      where he talks.  And we're delighted to have him

      11      down here.

      12             And I want to thank Senator Phillips,

      13      Senator Marcellino, and Senator Boyle.

      14             You know, the issue that we're talking about

      15      today is one that we all take very seriously.

      16             And, we have looked at this from a

      17      public-policy standpoint, from a governmental

      18      standpoint.

      19             And I have to tell you, Senator Phillips, for

      20      those of you that don't really know her, she's not

      21      shy.  She's not shy at all.  She's outspoken.

      22             And we spoke at great length about this,

      23      privately, within our Conference, and now publicly,

      24      about this type of issue.

      25             And this is the type of thing where we are







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       1      proud to be public servants and elected officials,

       2      but we also think we have an extraordinary

       3      responsibility to lay out what is exactly involved;

       4      where things are going well, where they're not.

       5             We welcome the testimony of the folks that

       6      are here.

       7             And I'm hoping that we can make substantial

       8      progress with your input.

       9             And, I'm -- I just want to say thank you to

      10      all of you for being here.

      11             And a particular thanks to Senator Gallivan

      12      and Senator Phillips.

      13             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  Senator Boyle.

      14             SENATOR BOYLE:  Thank you, Senator.

      15             I'd like to thank, senator Phillips for her

      16      leadership on this very important issue;

      17             Senator Marcellino, and, of course,

      18      Pat Gallivan/Senator Gallivan, for traveling this

      19      way to host this hearing.

      20             And, of course, John Flanagan, our leader.

      21             This is a topic that I didn't think any of us

      22      thought was going to be a big deal a year ago.

      23             A couple sessions ago, I introduced

      24      legislation, after some of the violence and some of

      25      the things that were going on in our schools, about







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       1      making it illegal to have a polling place in a

       2      school while school was in session.

       3             Obviously, on the Presidential election,

       4      there's -- the schools are closed.  But for the

       5      other ones, they're often open.

       6             Never in a million years at that time, three

       7      or four years ago, did I think that we'd be facing

       8      the prospect of criminals going into our schools,

       9      with students in classroom, nearby, on polling -- on

      10      Election Day.

      11             So, I look forward to the testimony of our

      12      experts today, to learn what their feelings are on

      13      this, and, of course, look for potential legislation

      14      to keep our children safe, most importantly, and

      15      families of victims getting the due process they

      16      deserve.

      17             Thank you so much.

      18             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  Thank you, Senator Boyle.

      19             Senator Carl Marcellino.

      20             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Thank you very much.

      21             Thank you for coming out, and I welcome the

      22      attendance.  It's good to see people here interested

      23      in the process.

      24             We're here to listen.

      25             I'm here to listen, I want to hear your







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       1      comments, as to what goes on, and what you think we

       2      should be doing, and what you think laws should look

       3      like that might affect this process, and make it a

       4      better process, so we don't have mistakes happening,

       5      and we don't have people let out who, frankly,

       6      shouldn't be.

       7             And perhaps we can clarify the voting

       8      process, as to how they can vote, and when they can

       9      vote.

      10             So let's hear the testimony.

      11             I'm very willing, and ready to listen.

      12             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  Great.  Thank you,

      13      Senator.

      14             Senator Pat Gallivan, all the way from

      15      Western New York.

      16             So thank you, Senator Gallivan, for traveling

      17      so far.

      18             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you, Senator, and to

      19      all my colleagues who are here today.

      20             I do appreciate the hospitality; your

      21      willingness to host this hearing on what I think is

      22      a very important topic.

      23             So if I -- thank you for your patience.

      24             I need just a few minutes to go through a few

      25      things, and then we'll jump right into it.







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       1             So, the hearing came about as a result of two

       2      different things:

       3             So, first, we saw the release -- several

       4      high-profile releases by the parole board of

       5      cop-killers, and it raised concerns.

       6             Many of us, our constituents had reached out

       7      to us, questioning, how can this happen?

       8             And so, as we looked into it, and began to

       9      focus on the parole board, what my thought was, as

      10      Chair of Crime Victims, Crime and Correction

      11      Committee, and based on my experience, I had the

      12      belief, while some of this is subjective, there are

      13      standards in the law and factors that must be

      14      considered.

      15             And I don't think that, in every single case,

      16      several members of the parole board followed the

      17      criteria in the law.

      18             And I think it's an obligation of our

      19      Committee to look at it.

      20             So the first area that we are looking at

      21      specifically, is the standards of release for --

      22      that is, for somebody to be considered for release

      23      from parole, and, the factors that must be

      24      considered, and the parole board's compliance with

      25      that.







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       1             That's the first topic.

       2             The second topic that is part of this

       3      hearing, that is done in conjunction with the Senate

       4      Standing Committee on Elections, back on April 18th,

       5      the Governor issued Executive Order 181, that would

       6      grant conditional pardon to parolees for the right

       7      to vote.

       8             It is, again, many of us had constituents

       9      reach out to us.  Many of us shared the same belief.

      10             I won't put words in my colleagues' mouths,

      11      but, I believe that the Governor usurped the

      12      authority of the Legislature.  That the

      13      Constitution, and in particular, the power of

      14      clemency and pardon, was not intended to do it in a

      15      blanket fashion, or in a mass fashion.

      16             It was to look at individual injustices.

      17             The lawmakers of this state, through the

      18      election law, placed several prohibitions on voting

      19      under certain circumstances.

      20             And, this is something that, in my belief,

      21      should be debated, it should be -- it should be

      22      debated, we should look at all the considerations,

      23      hear from everybody, and then make an ultimate

      24      legislative decision.

      25             So the focus is on the gov -- the focus is on







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       1      the Governor's executive order and the process.

       2             This is not intended to be a debate, or focus

       3      on whether or not parolees should have the right to

       4      vote.

       5             It's the process.

       6             And in some media accounts, and by some

       7      others that have stood up in protest, it's been

       8      mischaracterized.

       9             So those are two different -- different

      10      areas.

      11             Now, we conducted two hearings, one in Albany

      12      yesterday, and then, of course, we are here today.

      13             They're to be taken as one.

      14             So we won't go into great detail into both

      15      areas today.

      16             We spent a good part of yesterday in that

      17      first area.

      18             We heard from a former parole board member.

      19      We examined many of the issues related to parole

      20      release and the standards.

      21             Today we will hear, our first panel will

      22      focus a little bit more in the first area.

      23             And then, subsequently, we'll spend a little

      24      bit more time on the Governor's executive order.

      25             And then, of course, as we wrap it up, we







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       1      will probably touch on both areas again.

       2             But, without us going into what the law says

       3      about the standards of release, we did do that

       4      yesterday.

       5             And all of this is videotaped.  It's being

       6      streamed live.

       7             Both yesterday's hearing and today's hearing

       8      will be available on the Senate website.  It will be

       9      part of the record.

      10             All the testimony will be part of the record.

      11             A report will be issued afterwards for

      12      everybody.

      13             And my hope is, that we'll come up with

      14      recommendations, so that the questions that we are

      15      asking, we don't have to ask in the future, and

      16      we're dealing with some of the problems, and,

      17      hopefully, we can do government in a better way.

      18             Now, the committees are the ones that have

      19      called this hearing.

      20             It's important to know that every member of

      21      the Committee, the Crime and Corrections Committee,

      22      was personally invited.

      23             Despite media reports, I personally contacted

      24      several members of the Minority, and personally

      25      invited them.







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       1             I had several conversations with one of the

       2      committee members.

       3             The Ranking Member, in the media account, had

       4      said that he wasn't contacted.

       5             That is not accurate.

       6             We contacted their office multiple times.

       7             I did not get a return call.

       8             And I'm very disappointed that they chose not

       9      to participate.

      10             They could walk in and participate, and I'd

      11      welcome that.

      12             We also invited the Executive, the Governor's

      13      Office, to testify, and the chairwoman of parole,

      14      and the commissioner of department of corrections

      15      and community supervision.

      16             They elected not to testify; however, we do

      17      have -- we do have written testimony from each of

      18      them that was entered into the record yesterday, as

      19      well as responses to a request for a tremendous

      20      amount of records related to both areas.

      21             And, I am grateful that they did endeavor to

      22      comply with our request for records.  It's not

      23      complete yet.

      24             They did submit a substantial amount of

      25      records that, again, will all be entered into the







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       1      official record, and be made available to everybody.

       2             But, they did have the opportunity to appear

       3      in person, and, unfortunately, they are not here.

       4             So, we will move into this.

       5             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  (Indiscernible)

       6      housekeeping.

       7             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Okay.  One other thing?

       8             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  Yes.

       9             Oh, one housekeeping.

      10             One, please, make sure you know where the

      11      exits are.

      12             And, two, I am going to be the person that

      13      keeps us on time.

      14             So we're asking each panel group to stick to

      15      about 10 minutes, if you would, please, just for

      16      those that are waiting.

      17             So, thank you.

      18             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Yeah.

      19             So what we'll do, and we'll ask each panel

      20      member, we do -- I know that you've submitted

      21      written testimony, which will be entered into the

      22      record in its entirety, available to everybody on

      23      the website, and the report afterwards.

      24             And it would be -- if you're able to do it,

      25      it would be great if you just talked about the high







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       1      points.

       2             I do know that, I forget, that you did want

       3      to read from somebody that's a victim, that

       4      submitted something to you, and that's fine.

       5             OFF-CAMERA SPEAKER:  (Indiscernible.)

       6             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Oh, okay.  Got it.

       7             LAURA AHEARN, ESQ.:  Yeah, I have two

       8      victims.

       9             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  And that's fine.

      10             But, nonetheless, it would be best if you

      11      just tell us what your concerns are, and, let us

      12      answer some questions, and we can move through that,

      13      if possible.

      14             So our first panel is:

      15             Barbara Connelly, who's the founder of the

      16      Long Island/New York Metro Parents and Other

      17      Survivors of Murdered Victims Outreach;

      18             And, Laura Ahern, executive director of the

      19      Crime Victim Center and Parents for Megan's Law.

      20             And the reason that victims are relevant to

      21      this is that, the factors that the parole board

      22      must -- among the factors the parole board must

      23      consider is what the victims have to say.

      24             The victims have the right to enter a victim

      25      impact statement; either meet with a member of the







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       1      parole board or submit a written testimony to the

       2      parole board.

       3             And that is the area that we are looking to

       4      delve into with you.

       5             So it doesn't matter to us which one of you

       6      starts.

       7             Alphabetical, perhaps?  Or right to left?

       8             Your choice.  Go right ahead.

       9             Thank you for being here.

      10             LAURA AHEARN, ESQ.:  Good morning.

      11             My name is Laura Ahern.  I'm the executive

      12      director of the Crime Victim Center.

      13             I am so thankful that you are giving me an

      14      opportunity to give victims a voice.

      15             Good morning, Senate Majority Leader,

      16      Senator John Flanagan;

      17             Chairperson of the Committee on Crime

      18      Victims, Crime and Correction, Senator Gallivan;

      19             Senators Marcellino, Phillips, and

      20      Senator Boyle;

      21             And distinguished colleagues and guests.

      22             I have worked with over 25,000 victims of

      23      violent crime, and that violent crime includes

      24      victims of sexual assault, domestic violence,

      25      stalking, gang violence, assault, arson, vehicular







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       1      crimes, federal crimes, terrorism, and survivors of

       2      homicide, including the surviving family members of

       3      MS-13 victims in Brentwood.

       4             It is really my honor to have this

       5      opportunity to offer testimony on behalf of crime

       6      victims and surviving family members.

       7             I'm going to start with New York State parole

       8      policies and procedures.

       9             In May of 1971, Herman Bell was part of a

      10      group that lured and ambushed two New York City

      11      police officers, shooting them both in the back and

      12      killing them.

      13             Three months after he murdered

      14      Officers Piagentini and Jones, Mr. Bell murdered

      15      San Francisco Police Sergeant John Young in his

      16      station house.

      17             His guilt and actions were never in dispute.

      18             Their families had to endure eight parole

      19      board hearings.

      20             And in the last hearing, by a 2-1 margin,

      21      Bell was granted parole.

      22             The response was swift from the family and

      23      police unions across the country.

      24             What is particularly telling, however, was

      25      the response from two high-profile elected officials







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       1      in New York:

       2             Mayor de Blasio, who urged the state parole

       3      board to reconsider its tragic and incomprehensible

       4      decision.

       5             He wrote to the board, that murdering a

       6      police officer in cold blood is a crime beyond the

       7      frontiers of rehabilitation or redemption.

       8             Governor Cuomo himself, when asked if he

       9      supported the parole board's decision to release

      10      Bell, said, if he were on it, he wouldn't have.

      11             Herman Bell should have never been released.

      12             His release appears inconsistent with

      13      New York State statutory procedures regarding

      14      discretionary release on parole.

      15             Pursuant to the statute, an inmate's release

      16      must not be incompatible with the welfare of

      17      society, and will not so deprecate the seriousness

      18      of his crime as to undermine respect for law.

      19             For some crimes, parole must not be an

      20      option.

      21             The current parole board procedures, when

      22      considering whether to deny or grant parole to an

      23      inmate, are revictimizing victims and surviving

      24      family members.

      25             Every two years, victims -- at least every







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       1      two years, victims and surviving family members are

       2      forced to relive the trauma associated with the

       3      often brutal crimes that are committed against them

       4      or their loved one.

       5             For victims and surviving family members,

       6      this process effectively amounts to a

       7      state-scheduled posttraumatic stress disorder,

       8      wherein victims or loved ones themselves feel

       9      sentenced themselves to have to relive and recount

      10      the horrific details of the most tragic and hurtful

      11      events in their lifetime.

      12             I'm now going to read a statement from

      13      surviving family members of 13-year-old

      14      Kelly Ann Tinyes, and a statement from

      15      Jennifer Brooks, who was 10 years old when the

      16      South Shore rapist kidnapped her from her home to

      17      rape her.

      18             Both statements support the need to effect

      19      significant changes in the New York State Parole

      20      Board's process, to prevent victims and family

      21      members from further enduring even more suffering,

      22      not only related to the individual process of having

      23      to appear before the parole board, but the process

      24      leading up to that.

      25             On March 3, 1989, Robert Golub lured







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       1      13-year-old Kelly Ann Tinyes to his home, where he

       2      beat, stabbed, mutilated, and strangled her.

       3             He then put her body in a garbage bag like

       4      she was trash, and hid her in the basement.

       5             She was found the next day.

       6             It was a horribly heinous crime, one he

       7      should spend the rest of his life in prison for.

       8             I'm going to read a statement from

       9      Richard Tinyes, Senior, Kelly Ann Tinyes's father,

      10      dated October 1, 2018, which is yesterday.

      11             "To Whom It May Concern:

      12             "On March 3, 1989, our beautiful daughter

      13      Kelly Ann Tinyes was brutally murdered in the Golub

      14      house down the block from where we live.

      15             "Robert Golub was there when Kelly entered

      16      the house.

      17             "Robert Golub was waiting for her, and he

      18      beat her head and body so badly, we had to close her

      19      coffin at the funeral.

      20             "Kelly's head was beaten so badly it was

      21      swollen to almost twice its normal size.

      22             "He then took a knife, and cut her throat,

      23      slashed her breast numerous times, and then he took

      24      the knives and cut her vagina to her anus.

      25             "Robert Golub is coming up for parole again







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       1      in November.  And every two years, this family has

       2      to endure reliving what he did to Kelly for months

       3      before the parole hearing."

       4             Two years is torment to their family.

       5             It should at least be every five years.

       6             "At the first parole hearing, they were

       7      allowed to bring" -- "we were allowed to bring

       8      numerous family members with us for support.

       9             "Now we're only allowed to bring immediate

      10      family members, which is four people, and two

      11      additional relatives, who aren't allowed to speak.

      12             "This has affected our lives in so many ways.

      13             "My business was affected because no one

      14      wanted to face the worst nightmare.

      15             "No matter where I went, people would stare,

      16      or some people would ask if I was Richard Tinyes.

      17             "Wherever I went, Aruba; Florida; Charlotte,

      18      North Carolina; people would recognize us.

      19             "My wife, Vicki, is very upset, because she

      20      believes there's a chance that Robert Golub could be

      21      released on parole.

      22             "The State should make parole hearings every

      23      five years for murderers, to give peace to victims'

      24      families.

      25             "The families should also be able to bring







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       1      more people with them for support, and those people

       2      should be allowed to be heard.

       3             "Sincerely,

       4             "The Tinyes family."

       5             After a brief introduction, I'm going to read

       6      an excerpt from a statement by

       7      Ms. Jennifer Brooks.

       8             The full statement is provided in your

       9      packet.

      10             On June 22, 1988, the South Shore rapist,

      11      Scott Carroll, was sentenced to 650 years in prison

      12      for terrorizing and sexually assaulting multiple

      13      women.

      14             He kidnapped and raped a 10-year-old child.

      15      That child was named Jennifer Brooks.

      16             I'm now going to read an excerpt -- excerpts

      17      from Jennifer Brooks' statement, which are dated

      18      October 1, 2018, yesterday.

      19             "My name is Jennifer Brooks, and in 1986

      20      I became the youngest victim of the South Shore

      21      rapist.

      22             "I was 10 years old when he kidnapped me from

      23      my bedroom and took me to an empty lot to rape me.

      24             "I was lucky that he was eventually caught

      25      and charged in four counties throughout New York and







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       1      Florida.

       2             "It went to trial in three of those counties,

       3      all leading up to convictions on multiple counts of

       4      rape, attempted rape, burglary, sodomy, and in one

       5      case, attempted murder.

       6             "For reasons I will never understand, this

       7      man, who was in his 20s at the time of his

       8      sentencing, and was out on parole from a burglary

       9      conviction when he raped all of us, and was given

      10      the chance of parole starting when he was now 51,

      11      plenty of the time to pick up where he left off, and

      12      continue raping little girls and women.

      13             "I was glad to be given an opportunity to

      14      speak and deliver a victim impact statement.

      15             "It was extremely difficult for me, but

      16      I believed it did matter, so I did it.

      17             "The first time, I was told a member of the

      18      parole board was going to be there.

      19             "It wasn't explained to me until afterwards

      20      that the people in the room were not members of the

      21      parole board who would hear his case, and were just

      22      going to write a transcript of what I said, to be

      23      delivered to them.

      24             "I could have just written it myself if

      25      I would have known.







                                                                   25
       1             "But, did my in-person appearance matter?

       2             "Did it carry any weight than if I just had

       3      written a statement?

       4             "I couldn't get any straight answers about

       5      it.

       6             "Numerous times over the years, I wrote to

       7      the victims' assistance e-mail address with

       8      questions.

       9             "Sometimes, I got no response back at all.

      10             "When I got responses, they were always

      11      unsigned, and I had no idea who I was talking to,

      12      and the answers were generally cold and not helpful.

      13             "It's a terrifying prospect realizing that,

      14      every year or two, you have to freshly beg for

      15      strangers to care about you enough to keep the men

      16      who terrorized you and dozens of other women away

      17      from society.

      18             "So far, parole has come up every two years,

      19      but I've been told that it can be changed to yearly

      20      at any time.

      21             "Every time it comes up, I am a mess for

      22      months, stressed out like crazy about what I would

      23      ever do if this guy is set free.

      24             "I'm a single mom of an 11-year-old daughter,

      25      and I have no choice but to live where he raped me







                                                                   26
       1      and where he still has family.

       2             "Three years ago I had a close call.

       3      I called to find out whether the parole board made

       4      its decision, and was told that they got an

       5      extension because they wanted to see more of his

       6      trial records, particularly the sentencing notes

       7      which were not in the files because they had been

       8      destroyed after a certain number of years, a fact

       9      that still stuns me.

      10             "That was October, and I was told I should

      11      get a decision right around Christmas.

      12             "Preparing for Christmas was miserable that

      13      year.

      14             "It broke me apart that I had sent in my

      15      victim's impact statement, describing what this man

      16      had done to me, and how he had ripped my life apart,

      17      and that it wasn't enough.

      18             "The parole board had heard all that, and

      19      were seriously considering setting him loose anyway.

      20             "Thank God they didn't, but the time for

      21      parole came up.  I went all out.

      22             "Since my story didn't matter enough last

      23      time, I asked everyone I could to" -- "everyone

      24      I could think of to write letters.

      25             "I never got instructions about where to send







                                                                   27
       1      the letters.

       2             "So, at first, they were all e-mailing to the

       3      same e-mail address that I was, and getting no

       4      responses.  And, finally, I found a website that was

       5      meant for this type of use.

       6             "However, right away, friends started telling

       7      me that the form was broken.  It was rejecting

       8      letters with nearly any form of punctuation, like

       9      apostrophes or quotation marks.  It was severely

      10      limiting the word count of submissions to about

      11      one paragraph.

      12             "Many of my friends gave up because, no

      13      matter what they sent, they couldn't get it to go

      14      through.

      15             "I'm also told to call in each day, after a

      16      certain date, to find out the decision, or, wait for

      17      a letter in the mail.

      18             "Why?

      19             "When you have cases like this, how hard

      20      would it be to have someone make a phone call right

      21      away to let me know, so I can sleep again, or

      22      prepare for the worst.

      23             "Getting any kind of advice or real answers

      24      has just been about impossible.

      25             "And to this day, I have no idea what the







                                                                   28
       1      parole board considers or doesn't consider, and what

       2      they were thinking before they nearly set a serial

       3      rapist free.

       4             "What I want more than anything are two

       5      things:

       6             "Much longer periods between parole hearings

       7      and complete transparency about the process.

       8             "I want to speak with at least one member of

       9      the parole board that's speaking to him.  I want

      10      them to hear my voice, not just his.

      11             "I want" -- "I want clear instructions about

      12      what the parole board considers, and I want

      13      compassion and support during this process.

      14             "It shouldn't feel like I'm speaking to a

      15      neutral third party when I contact victims'

      16      assistance.

      17             "I want them to hear that I'm staying up till

      18      dawn every single day, and working near my front

      19      window so I can watch the house and keep my daughter

      20      safe.

      21             "I want them to understand that I spent

      22      four years trapped in my house with agoraphobia, and

      23      I changed my name to make it harder for him to find

      24      me.

      25             "I want them to see how hard I fight every







                                                                   29
       1      single day for my sanity and to live in this world.

       2             "And I want to believe that what happened to

       3      me matters, and that it will be used to make sure

       4      that it doesn't ever happen again to the next

       5      10-year-old girl.

       6             "Thank you for your consideration."

       7             So based on our work at the Crime Victims

       8      Center, with victims of violent crime, like Jenna,

       9      and also surviving family members like the Tinyes

      10      family, and surviving family members of MS-13 gang

      11      victims, I just have some basic recommendations, and

      12      this is on page 7 of my testimony.

      13             Pursuant to the statute, an inmate's release

      14      must not be incompatible with the welfare of

      15      society, and will not so deprecate the seriousness

      16      of his crime as to undermine respect for the law.

      17             For some crimes, such as the murder of police

      18      officers, the brutal sexual assault and murder of

      19      Kelly Ann Tinyes, and the kidnapping and rape of

      20      10-year-old Jenna Brooks by the South Shore rapist,

      21      parole must not be an option for those types of

      22      heinous violent crimes.

      23             Number two:  Parole hearings should not be

      24      granted at least every two years.

      25             Instead, there should be consideration to







                                                                   30
       1      longer periods in between, such as maybe five years

       2      for murderers and rapists, to prevent

       3      revictimization.

       4             Number three:  Surviving family members

       5      should be able to be accompanied to parole hearings

       6      by more than immediate family members, such as

       7      cousins and friends of the victim, for support, and

       8      those people should be allowed to be heard.

       9             Number four:  Parole board victim-assistance

      10      services should be more responsive and more

      11      transparent to address victims' and surviving family

      12      members' concerns.

      13             Clear instructions about the process need to

      14      be provided to every victim and surviving family

      15      member.  And if procedures are not followed, there

      16      needs to be a complaint process, a real complaint

      17      process.

      18             A real person answering the phone.

      19             A real person reading the e-mails that are

      20      coming from tortured family members.

      21             Victims-assistance e-mails have to be

      22      responded to, and questions have to be clearly

      23      answered.

      24             Electronic forms designed to provide

      25      supporters of victims an opportunity to write







                                                                   31
       1      letters have to always be functional, and there has

       2      to be quality control.  Someone has to be watching

       3      that those e-mails are actually being read and

       4      responded to.

       5             Victim-notification process should be

       6      automated via e-mail, like VINE is, or, an automated

       7      call.

       8             So, victims-information notification every

       9      day, you can actually register to have a

      10      notification anytime inmate status changes.

      11             But you can do the same for parole hearings

      12      as well, and decisions on whether or not they're

      13      going to release.

      14             So, in closing, I would like to also express

      15      our strong opposition to Governor Cuomo's 2018

      16      executive order, enabling paroles to vote, as it

      17      grants registered sex offenders access to schools

      18      which serve as polling places.

      19             School grounds where children play and

      20      congregate must be a sanctuary from those who

      21      already are determined by New York State corrections

      22      law, "Meghan's Law," to pose a risk to public

      23      safety.

      24             Whether that risk is a low risk, a moderate

      25      risk, or a high risk, those are individuals that are







                                                                   32
       1      deemed to pose a risk to public safety by law.

       2             The implications of this order potentially

       3      place children and our most vulnerable at increased

       4      risk, and adequate safeguards are not currently in

       5      place.

       6             Registered sex offenders should not be

       7      granted access to our schools.

       8             If sex offenders on parole, as well as other

       9      parolees convicted of violent crimes, wish to

      10      exercise their right to vote, we believe they should

      11      be given absentee ballots, postage-paid if they're

      12      indigent, to cast their ballots.

      13             Thank you for this opportunity to speak on

      14      behalf of the victims we represent and the

      15      communities we serve.

      16             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Barbara.

      17             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  Thank you, Laura.

      18             BARBARA CONNELLY:  Thank you.

      19             Well, it's almost afternoon, but I'll say,

      20      good morning.

      21             Can you hear me okay?

      22             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  I can, yes.

      23             BARBARA CONNELLY:  Okay.

      24             I want to thank Senator Marcellino,

      25      Senator Phillips, Senator Gallivan,







                                                                   33
       1      Senator Flanagan, and Senator Boyle.

       2             I find it very important at this time in my

       3      life, and in other victims' lives, that this hearing

       4      is taking place.

       5             I will say one thing:  Laura has echoed a lot

       6      of what has been going on in my life, my family's

       7      life, and at least six other families who have had a

       8      murderer released in the last six months.

       9             So these are important things.

      10             I was asked to tell a little bit about

      11      myself, and then to discuss the reasons what I think

      12      that would be important.

      13             So let me just start with this:

      14             My name is Barbara Connelly, and I am a

      15      mother of Kathleen, James, Patricia, Barbara, and

      16      Terrence (ph.).  I'm the widow of James P. Connelly.

      17             To make this easier on all of us, I chose to

      18      submit a timeline before and after January 1979 with

      19      the parole board, as a view of the Connelly family's

      20      interaction with the New York State Parole Board and

      21      its appointed commissioners.

      22             So I'll start this way:

      23             In 1972, of May, we moved to Long Island.

      24             In 1974, April, we bought a house in Shirley.

      25             1976, in January, that house burnt down.  We







                                                                   34
       1      lost everything that we ever had; every little thing

       2      that our children made in kindergarten to put on the

       3      Christmas trees, every little Mother's Day gift,

       4      every little Father's Day's gift.

       5             We lost everything, but our family, all of

       6      it, was safe.

       7             A teenaged boy named Jimmy Murray was hit by

       8      a car, and died the same night our house burnt down.

       9             He had called to see if my daughter Kathleen

      10      could go out for pizza with him and his friends.

      11             It was the night before school would start,

      12      after Christmas vacation.

      13             We didn't let her go.

      14             The next day, the school asked if there was

      15      anything they could do for us.

      16             They knew we lost everything in a fire;

      17      clothing, Christmas gifts, pictures, and every

      18      memento, as I said.

      19             We asked that they, please, help the family

      20      of Jimmy Murray.  We had insurance.

      21             1974 to 1978, after rebuilding home and life,

      22      we lived like most other families at the time:  Dad

      23      worked, mom stayed home, we took care of the house,

      24      home, and family, even mother watering the new lawn

      25      every single day, 30 minutes a day, keeping







                                                                   35
       1      (indiscernible) the sprinkler.

       2             I hated it.  Couldn't wait till he got home

       3      on the weekends.

       4             My husband was general manager of a small but

       5      well-placed electronics firm.

       6             In May 1978 he received a sizable raise,

       7      which included a car, and soon to include paid

       8      family vacations.

       9             Life was beginning to look pretty prosperous

      10      for a family of seven.

      11             Our remaining -- our oldest child was in

      12      Catholic high school, our remaining four in public

      13      school.

      14             Life was beginning to look pretty good.

      15             We had a pet dog, like everyone, and mom

      16      taught catechism every week.

      17             For three years, we had three Christmas

      18      pageants, which my class participated in and the

      19      families attended, in our home.

      20             1978, Christmastime.

      21             I share this part because it's the most

      22      important in our lives.  It's important for you to

      23      know who we are, and where we were, before Jimmy was

      24      murdered.

      25             I told my children to make lists, and we







                                                                   36
       1      would pick five things from each list.

       2             They were to be given allowance, to buy each

       3      of the siblings a separate gift.

       4             We did that every year, and it was an annual

       5      outing.

       6             They decided to buy mom an identification

       7      bracelet with their money.

       8             When they found one they liked, they were

       9      told it would cost additional money to have it

      10      engraved.

      11             The most they could afford, after paying for

      12      it, was ten letters.

      13             All of them had chipped in $5 already.

      14             If they had the engraving done, they wouldn't

      15      have enough to buy a gift for each other.

      16             Kathleen and Jimmy chose the engraving.  They

      17      wouldn't buy each other a gift.

      18             The front of the bracelet was easy.  It says

      19      "Mom."

      20             They all struggled for the inscription for

      21      the back.

      22             I was told, for two hours, between the oldest

      23      of them, they could only go back and forth, because

      24      they only had put in seven letters.

      25             They wanted to put all five of their names,







                                                                   37
       1      but I can't honestly say which of them came up with

       2      "Love'Us," seven letters, with an apostrophe.

       3             I had re-read their lists on the 23rd of

       4      December, and for some unknown reason, bought each

       5      of them one more thing and tagged it "From Santa."

       6             Cathy wanted long peacock-feather earrings.

       7      Jimmy wanted a suede head hat.

       8             Both gifts I was opposed to, but I did it

       9      anyway.

      10             I will never forget the picture of that

      11      Christmas Eve, even when my husband and I watched

      12      them open their gifts, Cathy and Jimmy in

      13      particular.

      14             They both looked at each other, and with

      15      surprised faces, and they said, You said you

      16      wouldn't!  We weren't going to.

      17             Cathy was the first to answer, "I didn't!"

      18             Everyone looked at me.

      19             You see, they had made a pact, their last

      20      pact.

      21             I was Santa, they knew it.

      22             Mom, their mom, would never buy the hat, and

      23      the earrings.

      24             So, you buy it for me, Jimmy, and I'll buy it

      25      for you, which got changed due to the engraving on







                                                                   38
       1      the bracelet.

       2             Dad and mom did not know about the pact, but,

       3      somewhere, somehow, mom bought them each a Santa

       4      gift.

       5             "The happiest Christmas, ever."  They have

       6      all said it.

       7             Cathy said, they all talked about how lucky

       8      they were, because they had friends who weren't

       9      going to have as much as they.

      10             Cathy used her gift-allowance money for the

      11      younger kids' gifts, and put Jimmy's name on them.

      12             Jimmy had a friend, Al Young, who was going

      13      to have a baby, and he had lost his job just before

      14      Christmas.

      15             Jimmy used his money for them, to help them.

      16             I only learned that after 1979.

      17             1979, January, Jimmy was murdered at the age

      18      of 15, on January 23, 1979, by 19-year-old

      19      John Duffy.

      20             He was chased, and stabbed more than 22 times

      21      in his head, heart, lungs, and back, according to

      22      the Nassau County Medical Examiner report.

      23             Lastly, his throat was cut three times.

      24             He was left bleeding alone in the cold night.

      25             The murderer ran, lied, received help from







                                                                   39
       1      family and known mob affiliates in Queens, and

       2      disappeared for 18 months.

       3             My 35-year-old husband had a heart attack at

       4      the morgue.

       5             They didn't recognize it was a heart attack.

       6             They gave him a couple of shots of scotch and

       7      they thought it was going to help him.

       8             No one knew.

       9             He was identifying our son, and he wouldn't

      10      let me go with him.

      11             He never worked again.

      12             Never.

      13             We lost our home, our car, and our financial

      14      stability.  Some of us, our health.  Not even enough

      15      to pay for a funeral.

      16             1980, July, John Duffy returned and turned

      17      himself in with an attorney.

      18             He was let out on bail.

      19             1980, November, I started a support group

      20      called "FAITH"; Friends Aiding in the Healing, for

      21      parents whose children died in all kind of ways --

      22      accidents, cancer, other illnesses, including

      23      suicide -- in Mastic and Shirley.  We met in

      24      St. Jude's Church.

      25             I couldn't teach religion classes any longer.







                                                                   40
       1      It wasn't going be easy to say "turn the other

       2      cheek."

       3             Through that group, I was able to give

       4      information on how many children were ill, or died

       5      of cancer, to local politicians who were

       6      investigating the quality of water in our area.

       7             I had the only compiled list, as the parents

       8      were members of the support group at the time.

       9             That was because of Jimmy.

      10             1981, January, while out on bail, Duffy

      11      attacked someone else with a weapon.  She was

      12      hospitalized.  She was from Huntington.

      13             He used a cousin's name, was placed on bail,

      14      and "I guess he slipped through the cracks," they

      15      said.

      16             1981, April, I co-founded the first support

      17      group for homicide survivors with another family,

      18      Long Island/New York Parents of Murdered Children.

      19             It was the third national chapter.

      20             A name change in 1995 to Long Island/New York

      21      Parents and Other Survivors of Murdered Victims

      22      Outreach.

      23             I had read about a family in "People

      24      Magazine" in March of 1981.

      25             I wrote them a letter, and the rest is







                                                                   41
       1      history.  It was the first Parents of Murdered

       2      Children meeting in Ohio.

       3             1981, October to November, Duffy was tried

       4      and convicted of murder.  Finally.

       5             He had a lawyer, Herb Lyons (ph.), a

       6      well-known mob lawyer.

       7             The second victim dropped her charges.  She

       8      thought that he was going to stay in prison for a

       9      long time.

      10             He was imprisoned that day, and waiting to be

      11      sentenced.  He refused seven weeks to show up for

      12      sentencing.

      13             1982, January, almost three years to the date

      14      he killed our Jimmy, he was sentenced, finally, to

      15      20 to life.

      16             Even though the ADA asked for 25 to life, the

      17      judge "felt bad," he said, in the sentencing minutes

      18      that had got lost, for us too.  He felt bad for

      19      sentencing a young man to life in prison.

      20             He never mentioned our Jimmy.

      21             In those years, we were not allowed to speak

      22      at sentencing.

      23             We had nothing that could be said.

      24             Our shattered hearts have never been

      25      repaired.







                                                                   42
       1             We go on.

       2             1987, February, I became a widow, with a

       3      16-year-old child to raise.

       4             2001, September 11th, first parole hearing

       5      for John Duffy.

       6             My picture and my son was on the first

       7      edition of "News Day" that day.  It was split with a

       8      picture of somebody they said -- I think they said,

       9      "Criminal within," and it was talking about violence

      10      and terrorism.

      11             My picture.

      12             It was postponed until October 11, 2011 --

      13      2001.

      14             The first parole hearing, there are only five

      15      of us now, four children and mom.

      16             We promised my husband we would fight his

      17      release.

      18             We did, all the way up until July 2018.

      19             2016, July, a notice of decision to release

      20      him, and then an immediate rescission hearing was

      21      imposed.

      22             It was both based on information discovered,

      23      which had not been given to the parole board in 2001

      24      and 2007.

      25             Videotapes, which were parts of our impact







                                                                   43
       1      hearings we had submitted, but they were overlooked.

       2             2018, July 5th, Office of Victim Assistance,

       3      telephone call.

       4             The New York State court overturns the

       5      New York State Parole Board's rescission hearing of

       6      December 16th.

       7             2018, July 7th, July 8th, July 9th,

       8      July 10th, July 11th, July 14th, July 15th, I argued

       9      with the New York State Attorney General's counsel.

      10             Why, why, were they not asking the New York

      11      State Supreme Court for a leave of their decision?

      12             They told me it was being considered.

      13             Because that decision for John Duffy was

      14      based on a 2016 Article 78, he would be due to go

      15      out any day, they kept telling me.

      16             July 18, 2018, I had a letter from OVA.

      17             "He will be released."

      18             Nothing else.

      19             No date.  None "around."

      20             Contact this person.

      21             Nothing.

      22             I have proof of every single thing I'm

      23      speaking about.

      24             July -- 2018, July 24th, we found out,

      25      online, he was released.







                                                                   44
       1             He was either released the 18th and 19th, the

       2      20th or 21st, the 22nd, the 23rd, or the 24th,

       3      because it says his leave picture was taken on

       4      July 18th.

       5             But, they told me on the telephone, OVA,

       6      Janet Koupash, that, no, he was let out on the 24th,

       7      one of six violent felons released in the last five

       8      months.

       9             I know this is cutting into the 10 minutes

      10      allotted each of us.

      11             I've gone over it for days.  It's almost

      12      impossible to stay focused at times.

      13             I needed to explain why I was involved with

      14      the parole board.

      15             I wanted you to see through a large window of

      16      our life that brought us there.

      17             Please ask me about the five things I have

      18      listed.

      19             Ask what I would change about the New York

      20      State Parole Board.

      21             We know it better than most families.  We

      22      were in front of it eight times, from 2011 to 2015.

      23             Each time he would be denied, he filed

      24      Article 78s, almost every time, which were denied.

      25             He had his 2015 hearing late, as he was still







                                                                   45
       1      waiting for another Article 78 decision.

       2             We had five more parole impact hearings,

       3      every six months, from 2015.

       4             All together, we had 13 hearings in 16 years.

       5             He was able to postpone, just like he did his

       6      sentencing, and parole-commissioner shop.

       7             He would go in.  If he didn't like who was

       8      there, he would step out and say, I'm not being

       9      heard today.

      10             He did that four times.

      11             He should not, he should not, have been

      12      allowed to do that.

      13             I attended every hearing, except July 5,

      14      2018, when Governor Andrew Cuomo closed the

      15      Long Island roads due to the storm.

      16             It killed me that I lived in Shirley.

      17             My daughter Kathleen lived in Babylon.

      18             Her husband drove us through that storm, to

      19      Hempstead, I think it was, Fulton Street, and

      20      Kathleen gave her impact statement.

      21             I had a phone interview that same afternoon,

      22      with the same parole commissioner that Kathleen met

      23      with.

      24             And they were not prepared.

      25             They mixed up our names.  They mixed up my







                                                                   46
       1      son's name.  They mixed up my husband's name.

       2             At one point they said, "Your brother John."

       3             John was the murderer.

       4             In 16 years, we had 13 parole impact

       5      hearings.

       6             He was released.  We found out online.

       7             The letter that I have did not give me a

       8      date.

       9             We blame a parole board commissioner, and I'm

      10      going to say her name here: Christina Hernandez.

      11             We blame the process that should have been

      12      followed, and was not.

      13             I have requested FOIL information in July.

      14             I have not received it yet.

      15             I would like you to ask me about the

      16      following:

      17             The weight of the inmate program, in example,

      18      the COMPAS.

      19             I contacted the gentleman who developed the

      20      COMPAS program on the date that I knew there was

      21      going to be rescission.

      22             He told me:  It wasn't made for murderers.

      23      It was made for inmates.

      24             And that he did advise, that when they

      25      consider COMPAS, they should add 15 to 20 percent







                                                                   47
       1      more, against.

       2             They don't.

       3             Parole board commissioners, twisting and

       4      twisting verbal input, specifically, to minimize

       5      crime during an inmate's hearing to ensure release.

       6             Christina Hernandez, in the hearing, said to

       7      him:  Well, it says here, 10 times that you stabbed

       8      him.

       9             How dare she put that in that hearing for

      10      him.

      11             He stabbed my son 22 times, and it's written

      12      everywhere.

      13             Plus, plus cut my son's throat.

      14             The necessity to amend Criminal Procedure

      15      Law 380.50, the notification to victims prior to

      16      inmate release from prison, "Jenna's Law," must be

      17      amended.

      18             The notification today that we get when

      19      somebody is to be released from prison, a violent

      20      offender, we get VINE calling us six hours after

      21      they get the information.

      22             We found it out online.

      23             We still hadn't gotten the letter from OVA.

      24             The letter from OVA was mailed on the 25th.

      25             He was already out.







                                                                   48
       1             There should be a "parole board commissioner"

       2      checklist as they're going through their hearings,

       3      to make the procedure crucial to our well-being when

       4      a murderer is to be heard, with each checked piece

       5      of review information, and provided to victim

       6      survivors.

       7             Also, there should be similar, but not

       8      including, a handbook for families and friends of

       9      victims, just like the handbook for families and

      10      friends of inmates.

      11             I am trying to put one together.

      12             For all these years, for almost 38 years,

      13      I've been the voice of the victims, helping to try

      14      to do these things for people.

      15             When up in Janet Koupash's office, OVA, Well,

      16      Barbara, what do you think we should do?

      17             Your letter is faulty to victims.  There is

      18      nothing in your letter that can help us.

      19             There is nothing -- no one to call us and

      20      say, the murderer is going out.

      21             I asked, Were the special conditions put in

      22      place?

      23             "Oh, yes, they were."

      24             Well, I have a copy of his signed special

      25      conditions:







                                                                   49
       1             Stay out of Nassau and Suffolk.

       2             He was supposed to stay out of Manhattan

       3      where my granddaughter works.

       4             He was supposed to stay out of certain places

       5      where our -- I've got 11 grandchildren now.

       6             He was supposed to stay away from things like

       7      that.

       8             He was supposed to have electric monitoring.

       9             He has been made a Schedule 4 -- Level 4.

      10             "Level 4" means the least conditions an

      11      inmate has when they get out of prison.

      12             He could have stole gum, and gotten -- been a

      13      Level 4.

      14             When I asked about that, they said, it was

      15      put in place by the parole board at the hearing

      16      that -- which was Christina Hernandez, who voted,

      17      and got somebody to help her, let him out.

      18             My complaint is not about the parole board.

      19      It's about the procedures.

      20             Because, to be very, very honest, for the

      21      first eight times that we had to go, we had the best

      22      parole commissioners, ever, decent human beings who

      23      did not want to even hear our story.

      24             And after a while, we were told, Don't tell

      25      what happened to Jimmy.  We don't want to know that.







                                                                   50
       1      We want to know how you're doing.

       2             Now, we only get one hour.

       3             If there is five of us, we have to break it

       4      into, like, 13 1/2 minutes for us to speak.

       5             That has to be changed.

       6             We cannot have people making those decisions

       7      for us.

       8             I don't want to say any more, but Niko (ph.)

       9      knows that we have a complaint against the judge

      10      that allowed all of our information, confidential

      11      information for crime victims, said at every parole

      12      hearing, "This is confidential information."

      13             It went out, Judge Richard Mart (ph.).

      14             My daughter was chastised for complaining to

      15      him so many times.

      16             So what happened to Jimmy doesn't matter any

      17      longer.

      18             What's going to happen now, it matters to all

      19      the others of us coming out, all of the other

      20      families that we represent, that Laura represents,

      21      that maybe a lot of other people here represent.

      22             That you represent.

      23             What's going to happen to them?

      24             Changes have to come.  We need it.

      25             And we need all of you to back us.







                                                                   51
       1             I'm 78 years old.  I started this when I was

       2      38.

       3             How much longer is it going to have to be the

       4      voice of the victim, not to be revictimizing

       5      themselves, and all of the others.

       6             I present to you.

       7             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  Mrs. Connelly, thank you;

       8      thank you very much for sharing your story.

       9             BARBARA CONNELLY:  You're welcome.

      10             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  Are there questions?

      11             SENATOR BOYLE:  I have one quick question.

      12             You mentioned your son's murderer, when he

      13      was up for the hearing, I guess, for the release, he

      14      walked in and he saw what who was there on the

      15      panel, and then walked back out again?

      16             They're allowed to do that?

      17             BARBARA CONNELLY:  Four times, because he had

      18      an Article pending, Article 78.

      19             I asked about it every single time, and they

      20      kept saying, yes.

      21             SENATOR BOYLE:  Wow.

      22             All right.  Thank you.

      23             BARBARA CONNELLY:  But, the good part of that

      24      was, every time that happened, as long as it was

      25      six months, we could fight it again.







                                                                   52
       1             SENATOR BOYLE:  Okay.  Thank you.

       2             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  Mrs. Connelly, I have one

       3      question.

       4             What do you believe the message -- what is

       5      the message that's being sent to the public by

       6      granting these wholesale pardons?

       7             BARBARA CONNELLY:  "Politics," that's the

       8      message.

       9             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  Thank you.

      10             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you both for your

      11      testimony, and sharing that.

      12             And -- yep, go right ahead.

      13             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  I just have a question

      14      for Laura, if that's possible?

      15             Okay.

      16             Laura, in the statement that you presented,

      17      it's a New York State parole policies' procedures,

      18      you talked about, and there were eight parole board

      19      hearings the families had to endure.

      20             Is there a reasoning behind this, or a

      21      justification for this?

      22             LAURA AHEARN, ESQ.:  I'm sorry, what section

      23      are you referring to?

      24             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  The first page, where

      25      you talk about "New York State Parole Policies and







                                                                   53
       1      Procedures."

       2             LAURA AHEARN, ESQ.:  That's just my heading

       3      there, to separate out my testimony?

       4             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Yes.

       5             LAURA AHEARN, ESQ.:  What is the question?

       6             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  This first section it

       7      says:

       8             "In May of '71, Herman Bell was a part of a

       9      group that lured and ambushed two New York City

      10      police officers.

      11             "His guilt and actions were never in dispute.

      12             "The families had to endure eight hearings.

      13             "In the last hearing" --

      14             LAURA AHEARN, ESQ.:  He was granted parole.

      15             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  -- "by 2-1."

      16             Was there a justification given by the parole

      17      board as to why they did what they did?

      18             LAURA AHEARN, ESQ.:  Well, my guess is, that

      19      they're following the same procedures and policies

      20      that they have already now.

      21             So, that's what needs to be changed, because

      22      the procedures that they're guided by are allowing

      23      for the release of individuals, like Bell, who can

      24      murder our police officers, and go back out on the

      25      street.







                                                                   54
       1             Guys like the South Shore rapist, who attack

       2      women and children, and go to jail for -- or, are

       3      sentenced to 650 years, and then can be released.

       4             So, clearly, there's something very wrong

       5      with the procedures they're following in order to

       6      release those offenders.

       7             BARBARA CONNELLY:  And may I interrupt and

       8      interject on that?

       9             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Sure.

      10             BARBARA CONNELLY:  They used a COMPAS as a --

      11      it's like a -- I'm going to say like a schedule.

      12             And any tickets they have gotten in the last

      13      two, three, four, five years, and they know when

      14      they can start to discount some of their tickets.

      15             But the COMPAS plays a very big part, because

      16      they mentioned "COMPAS" in every single hearing.

      17      And their good behavior.

      18             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Thank you.

      19             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  To Senator Marcellino's

      20      question, the board in the Bell case did issue a

      21      written decision.

      22             That is among the records that we did

      23      request, and we received it, and it will be a part

      24      of the record, their -- the commissioners who voted

      25      in favor, their rationale for it, as well as the







                                                                   55
       1      opposing commissioner.

       2             So we do have that, and that's available --

       3      it will be available for all members.

       4             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Thank you.

       5             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  We do thank you for your

       6      testimony, and willingness to stand up on behalf of

       7      victims.

       8             Especially, very sorry for your loss, but,

       9      thrilled that you've been standing up all these

      10      years for victims' voices to be heard.

      11             You both were very, very comprehensive in

      12      your testimony.

      13             And you should know, some of the victim or

      14      victim groups that testified yesterday spoke to many

      15      of the same things.

      16             So, the combination of that, and your

      17      comprehensive testimony, I don't have many

      18      questions.

      19             I only have one, and, Laura, it is for you.

      20             You talked about the parole hearings not

      21      granted every two years.  But then suggested at

      22      least every five years for murderers and rapists.

      23             Does that mean a graduated scale, depending

      24      on the severity of the crime, is what you're

      25      suggesting, or recommending?







                                                                   56
       1             LAURA AHEARN, ESQ.:  That's what the Tinyes

       2      family had requested, and also Jenna Brooks as well,

       3      that there be some type of system to -- maybe a

       4      point system, something, to make a determination as

       5      to when it will limit the trauma.

       6             So, if you have a guy who -- like in the

       7      Tinyes' case, who committed such a violent, heinous

       8      crime, should it really be an opportunity for an

       9      offender like that to be requesting parole hearings

      10      after two years, after two years, after two years?

      11             Like, where we have here, with Barbara, where

      12      she's continually going to try to prevent somebody

      13      from being released.

      14             That in itself is traumatizing.

      15             So whatever -- whatever type of a system that

      16      the Senate can develop and recommend, I'm confident

      17      that victims and surviving family members would be

      18      supportive of that, because, right now, it's -- it's

      19      at least every two years.

      20             So, Barbara was subjected to situations where

      21      it was once every six months, you had said?

      22             BARBARA CONNELLY:  At the end.

      23             LAURA AHEARN, ESQ.:  At the end.

      24             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Because of the appeals,

      25      and --







                                                                   57
       1             BARBARA CONNELLY:  Because of the appeals.

       2             LAURA AHEARN, ESQ.:  Right.

       3             BARBARA CONNELLY:  But I do want to say to

       4      that, because I don't know if you know this, there's

       5      an Assembly bill, and there's a Senate bill --

       6             LAURA AHEARN, ESQ.:  Yes.

       7             BARBARA CONNELLY:  -- for those five years.

       8             People from our group, the Hennesseys (ph.),

       9      they fought hard for that.

      10             I mean, there's no darned reason why it

      11      shouldn't be passed.  They don't have to get five

      12      years, but at least it gives them a space where they

      13      can say, well, this is too heinous, and we are gonna

      14      keep you the five years, or it could be two, three,

      15      four, or six months.

      16             But five years should be there.

      17             LAURA AHEARN, ESQ.:  It should be at least

      18      five years.

      19             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you both for your

      20      time --

      21             BARBARA CONNELLY:  Thank you.

      22             LAURA AHEARN, ESQ.:  Thank you very much.

      23             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  -- and your testimony.

      24             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  So if we could have the

      25      New York State Association of PBAs,







                                                                   58
       1      Daniel Fitzpatrick, and Suffolk County PBA,

       2      Pat Saunders.

       3             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  And James Hughes,

       4      Suffolk County Detectives Association President.

       5             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  Thank you.

       6             I'm sorry, James.

       7             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  We do appreciate it.

       8             And, let me thank you in advance for the --

       9      your service, and the service of the people that you

      10      represent.

      11             Could you each, just for the record, state

      12      your name and your title, and then whatever order

      13      you want to proceed is okay with us.

      14             DANIEL FITZPATRICK:  Sure.

      15             Daniel Fitzpatrick.  I'm the treasurer of the

      16      New York State Association of PBAs.

      17             JAMES HUGHES:  James Hughes.  I am the

      18      president of the Suffolk detectives, as well as an

      19      executive board member for the New York State

      20      Association of PBAs.

      21             PAT SAUNDERS:  I'm Pat Saunders.  I'm the

      22      sergeant at arms for the Suffolk County PBA.

      23             DANIEL FITZPATRICK:  Good afternoon,

      24      Senators.

      25             Thank you, Senator Gallivan,







                                                                   59
       1      Senator Phillips, Senator Marcellino, Senator Boyle.

       2             Thank you for inviting us and giving us a

       3      voice to be heard today.

       4             As I said, my name is Daniel Fitzpatrick.

       5      I'm a representative of the New York State

       6      Association of PBAs.

       7             We're an organization that represents

       8      approximately 40,000 law-enforcement officers in

       9      New York State.

      10             I'm here to share with you the perspective of

      11      all law enforcement as it relates to granting of

      12      parole.

      13             New York State has always been a leader for

      14      change and innovation, and parole is just one

      15      example.

      16             The first use of parole in New York State --

      17      in the United States was instituted in New York in

      18      1817.

      19             It has evolved to where we are now, 200 years

      20      in the making.

      21             The last major change was in 1998 with the

      22      enacting of Jenna's Law.  Jenna's Law strengthened

      23      the penalties for violent felony convictions.

      24             As we move forward 20 years from the passage

      25      of Jenna's Law, we find New York a less safe place







                                                                   60
       1      for both law enforcement and for the community.

       2             Earlier in 2018, the New York State Board of

       3      Parole released the most violent of violent felons.

       4             In January 2018, Christopher Thomas was given

       5      parole.

       6             Mr. Thomas was convicted of the 1984

       7      manslaughter of 10 people, 8 of which were children.

       8             Mr. Thomas's sentence was 10 consecutive

       9      prison terms, which could have totaled 83 to

      10      250 years.

      11             Judge Ronald Aiello stated that

      12      Mr. Thomas's sentence, as it was his -- it was

      13      intention -- Aiello's intention at sentencing that

      14      Mr. Thomas serve every single day, every single

      15      hour, and every single minute of his sentence.

      16             But due to state law, Mr. Thomas's sentence

      17      was capped at 50 years, and was paroled after

      18      serving only 32 years.

      19             Think about it:  3.2 years per victim, 8 of

      20      them being children.

      21             If Mr. Thomas had to complete the 50 years

      22      of his sentence, he would still be incarcerated till

      23      the year 2035, which is 17 years from now.

      24             But by far, for law enforcement, the most

      25      egregious release came on April of this year, in







                                                                   61
       1      2018, with the parole of Herman Bell.

       2             Mr. Bell and his co-defendants

       3      Anthony Bottoms and Albert Washington were convicted

       4      in 1971 of the execution of New York City Police

       5      Officers Joseph Piagentini and Waverly Jones.

       6             Officer Jones was once -- shot once in the

       7      back of the head, execution style, by Mr. Bell.

       8      And then Mr. Bell took Officer Piagentini's gun

       9      and executed the officer while he pleaded for his

      10      life, firing 22 rounds into the body of

      11      Officer Piagentini.

      12             Mr. Bell and Mr. Bottom were also

      13      convicted of the 1971 killing of San Francisco

      14      Sergeant John Victor Young.

      15             Officer Piagentini's service revolver was

      16      discovered in San Francisco shortly after the murder

      17      of Sergeant Young.

      18             Mr. Bell was denied parole in his first

      19      six attempts, and it was not until his last appeal

      20      that he took responsibility for his heinous and

      21      cowardly acts.

      22             Mr. Washington passed away in prison, and

      23      Mr. Bottom (sic) is still currently incarcerated.

      24             If Mr. Thomas and Mr. Bell were sentenced

      25      under today's guidelines, they would still be in







                                                                   62
       1      prison today.

       2             While the laws cannot be changed that

       3      retroactively adjust sentences of a convicted

       4      felony -- violent felony offenders, solutions must

       5      be sought to ensure that the most violent felons be

       6      kept in prison to ensure the safety and community of

       7      our fam -- ensure the safety of our community and

       8      that of law enforcement.

       9             As far as the condition of pardons, as we

      10      look to voting rights, the last -- the most glaring

      11      of these issues, as it represents to law enforcement

      12      is:  Is law enforcement going to be notified if

      13      these people are going to be voting?

      14             If you -- you know, the most -- sex

      15      offenders, are the notifications going to be made to

      16      the police department that they are going to be

      17      voting?

      18             And if they are going to be voting, you're

      19      going to have to have an officer at every single

      20      polling place?

      21             Which, quite honestly, seems somewhat

      22      impractical.

      23             Are you going to notify the detective units

      24      that these sex offenders have to register with?

      25             Are they going to escort them there?







                                                                   63
       1             Are they going to have to notify them before

       2      they go, or are they going to have to notify them

       3      after?

       4             There's a whole host of issues which have not

       5      yet to be addressed.

       6             The New York State Association of PBAs looks

       7      forward to working with the Senate, the Assembly,

       8      and the Governor's Office to find solutions that

       9      address these issues.

      10             Finally, I would like to thank the panel for

      11      affording me the opportunity to speak with you

      12      today.

      13             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  Thank you; thank you very

      14      much.

      15             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Jim.

      16             JAMES HUGHES:  Good afternoon, Senators.

      17             I thank you for the opportunity to appear

      18      before you here today and to speak to you.

      19             I want to relate to you the story of a

      20      parolee, and the attempted murder of an on-duty

      21      Suffolk County police officer.

      22             The date was November 5, 1980, the time was

      23      1:17 in the morning.

      24             On November 5, 1980, a police officer in

      25      Suffolk County's third precinct was operating his







                                                                   64
       1      sector unit, when he observed an unfamiliar male

       2      subject walking south on Islip Avenue and

       3      Islip Terrace.

       4             The subject did not look familiar to the

       5      officer who knew his sector well, and, in fact,

       6      resembled the police sketch of a subject -- of a

       7      suspect doing gas station robberies in the third

       8      precinct.

       9             The officer pulled his vehicle near the

      10      subject and engaged him in conversation.

      11             The officer spoke to him about our new

      12      President --

      13             This was the day after Election Day and

      14      Ronald Reagan had just been elected the new

      15      President.

      16             -- and gathered information, to include the

      17      subject's name, home address, subject's

      18      destination -- and the subject's destination at that

      19      late hour.

      20             Subject indicated he had lived in Brentwood

      21      and was en route to Bay Shore.

      22             After the brief conversation, the subject

      23      continued on his way south on Route 111.

      24             The officer, still suspicious of this

      25      subject, ran computer checks on the name and







                                                                   65
       1      information provided, and radioed a long-time sector

       2      operator in the Brentwood area to inquire if he knew

       3      this subject or knew of anyone that lived in the

       4      address that he provided.

       5             Brentwood officer did not recognize the name

       6      provided.

       7             Police officer continued to patrol his area

       8      around the area of 111, and a short time later, he

       9      observed the subject again, this time walking north

      10      on 111 and looking into parked cars.

      11             The officer again approached the suspect --

      12      the subject and asked what he was doing.

      13             He asked the subject if he had any ID on him.

      14             Before the officer could exit his vehicle,

      15      the subject approached the driver's window and said

      16      he had a learner's permit.

      17             When asked to produce it, the subject stepped

      18      back and reached into his rear waist band.

      19             The officer turned just as the subject fired

      20      into the officer's face.

      21             The officer threw his arm out, pushing the

      22      subject away from the car, and drew his weapon.

      23             The subject continued to fire at the police

      24      officer, and the officer returned fire.

      25             After three shots, the officer's weapon







                                                                   66
       1      became inoperable.

       2             The subject continued firing, and then fled

       3      north up Islip Avenue.

       4             The officer radioed for assistance, and was

       5      transported to the hospital, where he underwent

       6      surgery for gunshot wounds to the face and leg.

       7             "I survived."

       8             This case was investigated by the homicide

       9      squad.

      10             My assailant was arrested a short time later,

      11      and confessed to shooting the officer, fearing he

      12      would be found to be in possession of the

      13      9-millimeter handgun he carried.

      14             The examination of my jammed weapon revealed

      15      that an incoming round from his assailant -- from

      16      this assailant had struck the front trigger guard on

      17      my 38-caliber revolver and rendered it inoperable.

      18             It should be noted that this weapon had been

      19      held extended in front of my chest, and had it not

      20      hit the trigger guard, it would, in all probability,

      21      have struck me in the chest and possibly killed me.

      22             Investigation revealed the arrestee was on

      23      parole from a robbery conviction at the time of the

      24      shooting.

      25             Recovered during this investigation was a







                                                                   67
       1      list of police officer names the defendant had

       2      planned to kill.

       3             The officer described... I'm sorry.

       4             I was not on that particular list.  I was a

       5      target of opportunity, I guess.

       6             The above-subject stood trial for attempted

       7      murder, first degree, and was sentenced, as charged.

       8             20 to life he was sentenced to.

       9             Today, every year this defendant stands up

      10      for parole, and, periodically, I will appear before

      11      the parole board and let my sentiments be known.

      12             I do not believe that this subject should

      13      ever be paroled, and made those wishes known to the

      14      parole board, because of the fact that he had a list

      15      of police officers he wished to kill.

      16             I mean, the desire to kill anyone, be it a

      17      police officer, or the people the police officers

      18      protect, is abhorrent to this society, or should be.

      19             It can only be hoped that a parole board will

      20      continue to recognize the threat this man represents

      21      to us all and keep him in prison for the life

      22      sentence he truly deserved.

      23             Thank you.

      24             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  Thank you.

      25             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Pat.







                                                                   68
       1             PAT SAUNDERS:  Good morning, Senators, and

       2      assembled guests.

       3             My name again is Pat Saunders, and I'm here

       4      on behalf of the Suffolk County PBA and our

       5      president, Noel DiGerolamo.

       6             Thank you for allowing me to speak on this

       7      important issue.

       8             I begin my remarks with two historical dates.

       9             In 1817, New York became the first state in

      10      the nation to enact a good-time law with respect to

      11      prison sentencing.

      12             On July 1, 1930, the division of parole was

      13      established in the Executive Branch of New York.

      14             In the ensuing 88 years, parole for serious

      15      felony crimes has fluctuated with New York State's

      16      death-penalty arguments.

      17             With 201 years of history, New York has the

      18      most experience with parole in the nation.

      19             Unfortunately, over the course of the last

      20      50 years, we have wrestled with the issue of a death

      21      sentence, life without parole, and parole for the

      22      crimes we hold as the most vicious.

      23             One theme continues to resonate amongst all

      24      the arguments, however:  The killing of a police

      25      officer performing his official duties deserves the







                                                                   69
       1      most stringent of penalties.

       2             In the last two years, some of our residents

       3      have seemingly forgot that.

       4             A police officer at work is not an

       5      individual.  They are representative of society and

       6      our laws and norms.

       7             Aggression towards them is an act against

       8      society and demonstrates either complete disregard

       9      or mental illness.

      10             After adjudication, if a defendant is found

      11      competent and guilty, the process of parole must

      12      take in account the people's wish to incarcerate the

      13      subject to keep society safe.

      14             The killings of Police Officers

      15      Waverly Jones, Joseph Piagentini, and

      16      Trooper Emerson Dillon, amongst countless others,

      17      were not heat-of-the-moment accidental killings.

      18             They were planned and vicious assassinations,

      19      and were found to be so by a jury.

      20             It boggles the mind how a subject who

      21      committed the ultimate act of evil against another

      22      person, and by extension, all of society, could ever

      23      truly be reformed.

      24             The benefit of the doubt should be given to

      25      the victims, their families, and co-workers.







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       1             The victims were contributing to society and

       2      helping others.  The convicted felons were not.

       3             New York State's correctional-system

       4      population is rife with prisoners who are eligible

       5      for parole:  Serial killers David Berkowitz and

       6      Joel Rifkin, spree killers Colin Ferguson and

       7      Julio Gonzalez, numerous cop-killers who I cannot

       8      and will not identify by name, along with the

       9      infamous Long Island diner felons who committed more

      10      than 100 felonies in a tragic morning.

      11             That diner is five miles from where we sit

      12      right now.

      13             Is the parole system really designed to let

      14      these felons out?

      15             As a lifelong New Yorker, I certainly would

      16      hope not.

      17             Reading the parole hearing minutes of the

      18      murder of POs Jones and Piagentini showed me no

      19      sense of remorse or responsibility.  Instead, the

      20      felon spoke of his role in a war against society.

      21             Do we really believe those feelings ever

      22      change?

      23             If these prisoners are purportedly helping

      24      other inmates, I say leave them in prison and let

      25      them continue.  The risk to us is too great to take







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       1      a chance.

       2             I'll conclude with an example of parole gone

       3      wrong.

       4             In 1967, Joe "Mad Dog" Sullivan was convicted

       5      of manslaughter.

       6             In 1971 he escaped the Attica Correctional

       7      Facility, the first person having done so.

       8             He was recaptured six weeks later.

       9             Amazingly, he was paroled in 1975.

      10             Over the course of the next six years, he was

      11      suspected in close to 20 murders as a contract

      12      killer.

      13             In 1981 he was convicted of three murders,

      14      and died in prison.

      15             Parole is a privilege, not a right, and

      16      should be reserved for non-violent offenses that can

      17      be rehabilitated, not subjects evincing the blatant

      18      disregard of human life.

      19             Thank you.

      20             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  I have one question.

      21             Dan, you made reference in your testimony to

      22      "under today's current sentencing standards."

      23             Is that a reference to the murder of a --

      24      police officers, punishable by life without

      25      parole --







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       1             DANIEL FITZPATRICK:  (Indiscernible.)

       2             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  -- life imprisonment

       3      without parole?

       4             DANIEL FITZPATRICK:  Yes.

       5             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  And that is a current

       6      status, I believe, from 2005, when the Legislature

       7      enacted that --

       8             DANIEL FITZPATRICK:  Yes.

       9             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  -- and the governor signed

      10      that?

      11             DANIEL FITZPATRICK:  Violent felony statutes

      12      also increased in 1998 with the enactment of

      13      Jenna's Law.  And his -- especially, Mr. Thomas's

      14      crime was committed prior to that.

      15             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Okay.  Thanks.

      16             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  I have a question for any

      17      of you.

      18             Were you notified of the individuals that

      19      were pardoned, particularly the Level 3 sex

      20      offenders, and the murderers, before they were

      21      pardoned, or afterwards?  Were you given the

      22      individuals' names?

      23             DANIEL FITZPATRICK:  I'm sorry, pardoned?

      24             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  Through this last round of

      25      the Governor's pardoning, were -- was there any







                                                                   73
       1      notification that --

       2             DANIEL FITZPATRICK:  Not to my knowledge.

       3             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  -- these individuals --

       4             DANIEL FITZPATRICK:  Not to my knowledge.

       5             JAMES HUGHES:  Nor mine.

       6             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Senator Marcellino.

       7             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Let me ask you just a

       8      quick question about, the person who is being given

       9      the right to vote, what would you think about the

      10      use of only voting for these people by absentee

      11      ballots?

      12             They would not be allowed to go near a school

      13      and enter a building.  But if they were going to

      14      vote, they could vote by absentee ballot only.

      15             DANIEL FITZPATRICK:  I think that would be

      16      acceptable means.

      17             I mean, to let a sex offender into a school?

      18             Who has -- who has to answer that?

      19             That's ridiculous.  That's inane.

      20             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Couldn't agree with you

      21      more.

      22             PAT SAUNDERS:  Senator, I would even say, let

      23      them vote with their parole officer when they check

      24      in for a hearing.

      25             If they're being supervised release, let them







                                                                   74
       1      vote when they respond there.

       2             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Senator Boyle.

       3             SENATOR BOYLE:  I agree, that just the idea

       4      that these convicts are supposed to be -- only be

       5      allowed in the schools between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.,

       6      just that have you to say that alone makes it so

       7      ridiculous, that it should not happen at any point

       8      in time during the course of the day, if any.

       9             But just like to thank you gentlemen.

      10             And, Jim, I've known you many years and never

      11      heard that story.

      12             Thank you very much for sharing it.

      13             And on behalf of you, and other victims,

      14      particularly Diane Piagentini, a constituent of

      15      mine, the widow of Officer Piagentini, in letting

      16      any police officer -- the murderer of a police

      17      officer free at any time makes no sense whatsoever.

      18             Thank you.

      19             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you, all.

      20             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  Thank you very much.

      21             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Next we will have:

      22             New Hyde Park-Garden City Park

      23      superintendent --

      24             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  Dr. Jennifer Morrison.

      25             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Oh, I didn't have







                                                                   75
       1      "Doctor."

       2             -- Dr. Jennifer Morrison;

       3             Mineola superintendent, Michael Nagler --

       4             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  "Doctor."

       5             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  -- another doctor.  Sorry.

       6             And New Hyde Park Memorial High School PTSA,

       7      corresponding secretary, James Reddan.

       8             JAMES REDDAN:  Just "Jim."

       9             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Jim Reddan.

      10             JAMES REDDAN:  Everybody else had titles, so

      11      I take it, I'm just "Jim."

      12             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  I'd like to go -- I don't

      13      think -- I'd like to go on record here.

      14             I have a little bit of research that we did

      15      in our office, and let me emphasize the word

      16      "research," because there was no known way -- or,

      17      the way we had to figure this out was complicated.

      18             But, in Nassau County, we found 23 sex

      19      offenders, including 9 -- let me repeat --

      20      9 Level 3s.

      21             And for those of you that don't know the

      22      difference between Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3,

      23      Level 3s are determined to be the high risk of

      24      repeat offense and a threat to public safety, and

      25      Level 3 sex offenders must register for life.







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       1             These sex offenders included 10 child

       2      rapists, 14 child victims as young as 2 years old.

       3             And it was my office who provided this

       4      information to the Nassau County Police.

       5             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  So we appreciate the fact

       6      that you are here, and your patience, of course.

       7             And as with the others, we are -- it doesn't

       8      matter who goes first.  But, when you testify, could

       9      you just start first with your name and your title,

      10      and you can proceed right into your testimony.

      11             DR. JENNIFER MORRISON:  I guess I'll go

      12      first.

      13             Okay.  My name is Dr. Jennifer Morrison.

      14      I'm the superintendent of schools of New Hyde

      15      Park-Garden City Park School District, and I'm here

      16      to thank you, first, for having me.

      17             I appreciate you listening.

      18             And I'd also like to impress upon you the

      19      importance of keeping our children secure and safe.

      20             We work tirelessly to keep our children safe

      21      in school.

      22             And on Primary, Special, and General Election

      23      days, the law requires schools to allow parolees,

      24      unidentified strangers, and unvetted election

      25      workers to enter and vote in our children's school







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       1      buildings.

       2             We are expected to keep our children safe.

       3             Schools have added visitor identification

       4      systems, security guards, security vestibules with

       5      mantraps, and security cameras to do so.

       6             Our front doors are locked to our schools all

       7      day, every single day.  No one is permitted to enter

       8      the building without first showing photo

       9      identification.

      10             On polling days, when children are present,

      11      we are required to leave the doors unlocked, and we

      12      are not allowed to require visitors to present

      13      identification, which poses significant safety

      14      concerns.

      15             Anyone on election polling day can walk into

      16      our schools unannounced.

      17             Anyone.

      18             Anyone can walk into our schools unannounced.

      19             Our school buildings were built in the early

      20      and mid-1900s.  They were designed to be community

      21      schools for the education of elementary school

      22      children.

      23             None were designed with the idea that

      24      visitors would be entering during the school day to

      25      vote, and, certainly, none were designed in an era







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       1      when anyone even thought of the possibility of

       2      school shootings.

       3             In one of our buildings, visitors entering to

       4      vote have to pass by a student classroom and the

       5      nurse's office.

       6             Students in our adjacent hallways must pass

       7      these visitors throughout the day to go to the

       8      bathroom, to the nurse, to lunch, to gym, to music,

       9      or to go to mandated services such as speech.

      10             Keep in mind, these students are as young as

      11      four years old.

      12             In this age of horrific school shootings, we

      13      owe our children better than to have polling in our

      14      school buildings.

      15             The board of elections offers no assistance

      16      assuring the safety of our students, teachers, and

      17      employees on election days, nor will the police

      18      department station police officers at our buildings.

      19             I asked for that help, and was advised that

      20      the police department would not assign an officer on

      21      election days to be at our polling places; there

      22      simply aren't enough of them.

      23             The board of elections will not send security

      24      guards to guard our children, or even our doors.

      25             This responsibility falls on school







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       1      districts.

       2             The board of election does, however, send

       3      election workers to our buildings who are not

       4      background checked, and have absolutely no

       5      familiarity with the school-safety plans.

       6             Every employee in our school system that

       7      enters our buildings has been fingerprinted as --

       8      and is trained in emergency procedures.

       9             Election workers are not.

      10             On polling days they are in our facilities

      11      all day long.

      12             We have even had instances where election

      13      workers have roamed through our buildings and used

      14      student restrooms while elementary school students

      15      were in there, rather than wait for the staff

      16      bathroom to become available.

      17             A few years ago the vote was moved out of one

      18      of our schools, New Hyde Park Road School,

      19      subsequent to a lockdown having been called while

      20      voters were in the building.

      21             Voters and election workers ignored the

      22      lockdown, as they were not familiar with the

      23      procedures that we use to keep our children safe.

      24             Our school staff, and the police upon their

      25      arrival, were unable to determine who belonged in







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       1      the building, and who or what might have been the

       2      cause of the lockdown.

       3             It was chaotic.

       4             As I stated earlier, on election days, we are

       5      not allowed to ask for visitor identification.

       6             By Governor Cuomo's executive order, the

       7      rights of approximately 24,000 sex offenders to vote

       8      were restored, and the department of corrections has

       9      implemented a procedure so that sex offenders are

      10      allowed to enter schools to vote after 7 p.m.

      11             They must get written permission from their

      12      parole office if they intend to vote at a school,

      13      and then from the school superintendent.

      14             I assure you that I will not be granting my

      15      permission for any sex offender to enter my school

      16      buildings and vote, even after 7 p.m.

      17             Ever.

      18             Our doors do not close at 7 p.m.

      19             There are sports practices and other

      20      activities in our school buildings that are attended

      21      by children.

      22             Our school buildings are the center of our

      23      communities.  They're in use all the time.

      24             But even if I deny that permission, how would

      25      we know if a sex offender or a murderer or a







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       1      cop-killer was entering our schools on a polling day

       2      anyway, as we are not allowed to check

       3      identification?

       4             This is why polling does not belong in our

       5      schools.

       6             This initiative is misguided, and will allow

       7      dangerous felons, amongst others, into schools to

       8      vote.

       9             To keep our children safe, our district

      10      safety plan requires visitors be buzzed into the

      11      building every time they visit, and that, upon entry

      12      into the building, the visitor must show photo

      13      identification.

      14             The visitor then receives a badge and is

      15      escorted to the main office.

      16             At the main office, the person is accompanied

      17      to their destination.

      18             At the end of their visit, they have to sign

      19      out and return their badge.

      20             In light of the recent nationwide security

      21      concern, this process should not be expected to be

      22      bypassed on election days as it contradicts the

      23      procedures we have implemented to keep our children

      24      safe on a daily basis.

      25             These procedures were implemented based upon







                                                                   82
       1      recommendations received from the Nassau County

       2      Police Department, among others.

       3             The district's request for Nassau County

       4      police officers to provide security at two of

       5      New Hyde Park-Garden City Park schools, Manor Oaks

       6      and Hillside Grade, during the Primary Election,

       7      which was scheduled to be held in both buildings on

       8      Thursday, September 13, 2018, while children were in

       9      the building, was denied.

      10             Our request for traffic control during

      11      arrival and dismissal times at Manor Oaks School

      12      located on busy and crowded Hillside Avenue, was

      13      denied.

      14             The volume of students, parents, and voters

      15      caused us a significant safety issue at these times.

      16             It also displaces our staff from parking in

      17      the limited spaces when they come to work.

      18             Our lots become so congested that, last

      19      Election Day, a voter had a car accident in our

      20      parking lot.

      21             In addition to all the concerns I have

      22      stated, this is a huge disruption to exactly what

      23      we're supposed to be doing every day, which is

      24      instruction.

      25             Using schools as a voting location interferes







                                                                   83
       1      with library classes and mandated physical-education

       2      instruction for three days:

       3             The day before the vote, when the voting

       4      machines and the polling-related items are delivered

       5      and set up;

       6             Then the day of the polling;

       7             And the day after the polling while we wait

       8      for the board of elections to remove these items.

       9             New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School

      10      District is working with Senator Phillips, presiding

      11      Officer Nicolello, Assemblyman Ed Ra, and

      12      Councilman Ferrara, to have all elections

      13      permanently removed from our school buildings.

      14             In the meantime, we need your assistance to

      15      keep our children safe, and keep the vote and the

      16      parolees out of our schools.

      17             Thank you.

      18             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you.

      19             Dr. Nagler.

      20             DR. MICHAEL NAGLER, Ph.D.:  Thank you.

      21             I wrote "good morning," but it's "good

      22      afternoon" now.

      23             Senators, I appreciate the time.

      24             My name is Michael Nagler.  I'm the

      25      superintendent of Mineola Public Schools.  I also







                                                                   84
       1      currently serve as the president of Nassau County

       2      Council of School Superintendents.

       3             I'm going to paraphrase some of my remarks

       4      because they're a repeat of what Jen's already said.

       5             What she described as a typical procedure for

       6      a parent entering the building is common in all of

       7      our buildings.  That's the new reality.

       8             The days where parents just come in to drop

       9      off lunch, and go into the classrooms, are done.

      10             In fact, we typically have what we call

      11      "mantraps," which are secured vestibules.

      12             They have to leave things there.

      13             To get an instrument, if you forgot your

      14      lunch, leave it there.  We'll take it to your child.

      15             So that's the reality for our parents, and,

      16      obviously, using schools as polling places is a

      17      contradiction to that.

      18             As Jen said, the polling place and procedures

      19      contradict all of our procedures for school safety.

      20             I would add a few things.

      21             In my case, in Mineola, our answer has been

      22      to limit voting to a classroom.

      23             We find a classroom with an exterior door.

      24      We put the machines in that classroom.  And we use a

      25      separate entrance as a polling place.







                                                                   85
       1             And we don't want people wandering around our

       2      buildings.

       3             We hire security.  So we incur the cost to

       4      Mineola, to hire additional security in every

       5      polling place, to ensure the public doesn't wander

       6      to where our children are.

       7             In spite of that, we had an incident in the

       8      last Primary.

       9             We also -- it's not a very comfortable place

      10      for voters.

      11             When you typically go to your polling place,

      12      you'll have five or six machines, based on the EDs,

      13      the ADs, and there's just six, seven people show up,

      14      which doesn't really happen anymore.  But, when they

      15      do, it's not really a manageable space.

      16             But that's our solution instead of opening up

      17      a gymnasium.

      18             When children aren't in the building, voting

      19      really is a non-issue.

      20             But it's fairly common practice for schools

      21      to close on Election Day, although, two years ago,

      22      Mineola was open.

      23             The reason we were open, is because the -- we

      24      have restrictions on when school can start and when

      25      it ends, and within that timeframe, we have to fit







                                                                   86
       1      in contractual obligations.

       2             All of our districts have different number of

       3      days.  In some -- some districts are 186, some are

       4      182.

       5             But, that is becoming harder and harder to

       6      fit within that time frame.

       7             The granting of new religious -- not new

       8      religious holidays, but, additional religious

       9      holidays has made that more problematic.

      10             I'm aware of Senator Funke's bill that

      11      proposes, that it will require schools to close on

      12      Election Day.

      13             I think that would further exacerbate the

      14      problem, and that bill does not account for

      15      primaries.

      16             So when you have election days, great.

      17             Obviously, the mid-term and the presidential

      18      elections, we get a lot more voters.  But primaries

      19      pose the same problems.

      20             There's also that discussion about early

      21      voting.  I'm not quite sure how that's going to

      22      work.

      23             But it would certainly be, if you're having

      24      multiple days for voting, that would even exacerbate

      25      the problem even further.







                                                                   87
       1             I'd like to comment on parolees and voting in

       2      schools.

       3             The notion that superintendents should grant

       4      permission for convicted sex offenders to vote in

       5      our buildings is ridiculous.

       6             No superintendent is going to agree to that,

       7      and I don't think it's fair to place that decision

       8      in our laps.

       9             I am aware that the law dates back to 2006.

      10             It doesn't make sense then, it doesn't make

      11      sense now.

      12             We really don't want any part of a political

      13      hot potato, especially when the obvious solution is,

      14      just use an absentee ballot.

      15             And, frankly, I believe it's a complete

      16      disregard for school communities to have that occur.

      17             We're asking for the ability to work with the

      18      board of elections.

      19             We understand that voting has to happen.

      20             We understand it has to be in accessible

      21      buildings.

      22             What -- we're supportive of Senator Phillips'

      23      bill that gives us the ability to decline serving as

      24      a polling place, similar to the discretion allowed

      25      other entities, but not allowed schools.







                                                                   88
       1             And my colleagues and I are prepared to work

       2      with the board of elections to find alternative

       3      solutions, such as firehouses, village halls,

       4      libraries; the obvious public places, because, at

       5      this point, based on current circumstances, those

       6      venues make more sense.

       7             I thank you for the opportunity to testify.

       8             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Mr. Reddan.

       9             JAMES REDDAN:  Thank you, Senator.

      10             Good morning.

      11             My name is James Reddan.

      12             My proudest title is a husband, and dad to

      13      Courtney (ph.), James, and Kelsey (ph.).

      14             I am also a veteran of the United States

      15      Army.

      16             I appear before you today to offer testimony

      17      in the topic of elections.

      18             I have been authorized by a vote of the

      19      membership of the New Hyde -- to express the opinion

      20      of the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park Committee

      21      Against Polling in Schools, by the New Hyde Park

      22      Memorial High School Parent-Teacher-Student

      23      Association.

      24             Here with me today, just behind me to my

      25      right, is Danielle Messina and Kathryn Canese.







                                                                   89
       1             These talented women, along with

       2      Liz Sollecito, are the driving force behind the

       3      committee and the PTSA.

       4             I will skip the pleasantries, but thank you

       5      very much for letting me be here.  I'm trying to

       6      truncate my statements.

       7             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Excellent.

       8             JAMES REDDAN:  The New Hyde Park-Garden City

       9      Park community began its fight against polling in

      10      our schools before the Governor signed Executive

      11      Order 181.

      12             Our issue is, and always has been, the safety

      13      of our children.

      14             For many years, three of our elementary

      15      schools were polling locations.

      16             It was acceptable in the past, but times have

      17      changed.

      18             Our story begins on Election Day, 2014.

      19             On that day, at New Hyde Park Road School,

      20      the alarm was triggered and a lockdown was

      21      initiated.

      22             Our children, teachers, and staff were locked

      23      in the school for about two hours.  Everyone in a

      24      locked office or locked classroom, waiting for the

      25      all-clear; every teacher and administrator complying







                                                                   90
       1      with the school safety plan.

       2             The Nassau County Police, Third Precinct, did

       3      an excellent job, and secured our school.

       4             However, during the lockdown, the election

       5      process continued.

       6             Voters and poll workers were free to roam

       7      portions of the school, enter and leave as they

       8      pleased; thus, defeating the purpose of a lockdown.

       9             We decided on that day polling in our schools

      10      is unacceptable and a potential security threat.

      11             Our community organized a petition drive, and

      12      we were successful in removing Election Day polling

      13      from New Hyde Park Road School.

      14             Unfortunately, voting remained at Manor Oaks

      15      and Hillside Grade schools.

      16             The voting at Manor Oaks is under the control

      17      of the school board.  The school board moved that

      18      election in the May 2017 election year to the

      19      Michael J. Tully Park.

      20             Through the collective efforts of the

      21      residents in our community, we have been successful

      22      in facilitating the removal of polling from Hillside

      23      Grade School.  That happened this year.

      24             Our elementary schools were no longer subject

      25      to the potential safety threat.  The school safety







                                                                   91
       1      plan would no longer be compromised by the election

       2      process.

       3             For that we thank everyone that helped us,

       4      and the Nassau County board of elections.

       5             We breathed a sigh of relief.

       6             The board of elections was offered two

       7      reasonable locations.

       8             The New Hyde Park Fire District offered the

       9      use of their firehouses.

      10             We secured -- also secured Michael J. Tully

      11      Park as an optional site.

      12             New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School

      13      District holds their budget and trustee vote at

      14      Tully Park.

      15             The site is an approved voting location.

      16             Simple, we thought.

      17             Tax -- Tully Park is taxpayer-funded,

      18      handicap-accessible, offers a large parking field,

      19      and is a well-known and convenient location within

      20      our community.

      21             After offering these locations as

      22      alternatives, the board of elections surveyed these

      23      locations.

      24             Progress, we thought.

      25             We waited for a decision; we waited all







                                                                   92
       1      summer.

       2             We became aware of the new location when the

       3      board of elections mailed out the voter-registration

       4      cards.

       5             Unfortunately, the board of elections

       6      selected New Hyde Park Memorial High School for the

       7      September 13th Primary vote and the November 6th

       8      General Election.

       9             We were shocked.

      10             What could we do now?  The cards were mailed,

      11      the location selected, the Primary two weeks away.

      12             We fought back is what we did.

      13             We made calls, we sent e-mails, and let our

      14      voices be heard to anyone that would listen.

      15             Thankfully, someone did listen.

      16             The board of elections changed the location

      17      of the Primary.  They moved it to Tulley Park, one

      18      of our original alternative locations.

      19             The move occurred one week prior to the

      20      Primary vote.

      21             Again, a collective sigh of relief, but we

      22      are not done, our mission is not complete.

      23             The board of elections has selected New Hyde

      24      Park Memorial High School as the voting location for

      25      the November 6th General Election.







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       1             The selection of the high school as an

       2      alternative to the elementary schools is baffling to

       3      us.

       4             The same children that attend our schools

       5      have brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends that

       6      attend the high school.  The same families are

       7      affected.

       8             Today, as I speak to you, 1860 children, aged

       9      11 through 18, are in attendance at New Hyde Park

      10      Memorial High School.

      11             1860 children -- our children.

      12             The selection of the high school as a polling

      13      location is unacceptable and unnecessary.

      14             I have been voting for 39 years.

      15             New Hyde Park Memorial High School has never

      16      been a polling location during that time.

      17             We are pleading with the Nassau County Board

      18      of Elections to utilize Tulley Park on November 6th,

      19      the same park that was used by the board of

      20      elections to conduct the September 13th Primary

      21      Election.

      22             I told you our story because you and I should

      23      not have to fight to remove voting from our schools.

      24             We shouldn't have to compromise the safety of

      25      our children because of an election.







                                                                   94
       1             The perceived inconvenience of moving a

       2      polling location should not be more important than

       3      our children.

       4             There are alternatives.

       5             We should be afforded a simple solution: Give

       6      the individual school districts the legal authority

       7      to opt out.

       8             Before I continue about a possible opt-out

       9      option, I would like to comment on Executive

      10      Order 181.

      11             Executive Order 181 went into effect May 1st

      12      this year.

      13             The order could, potentially, give tens of

      14      thousands of felons on parole the right to vote.

      15             The Governor says these parolees are

      16      disenfranchised voters.  That many of them are

      17      contributing to society, and it is unfair to prevent

      18      them from voting.

      19             There is no doubt that some of these parolees

      20      will go on to continue productive lives and

      21      contribute to our society.  People do make mistakes.

      22             But New York State law has a way for the

      23      parolee to restore his right to vote.  It is called

      24      a "relief from civil disabilities."  It is granted

      25      by a judge by a motion to the Court.







                                                                   95
       1             But it is also true that there are some

       2      parolees that will never change.

       3             Some of those parolees are convicted sexual

       4      predators.

       5             Allowing them to vote allows them access to

       6      our schools; allows them to enter our schools on

       7      Election Day.

       8             To enter the schools in New Hyde Park and

       9      Garden City Park, you need to produce

      10      identification.

      11             If you do not have identification, you do not

      12      get in.

      13             Very simple.

      14             During an election, the schools have to open

      15      up their doors to the voting public.

      16             Schools are not allowed to ask voters for

      17      identification.

      18             They have no record of who enters the

      19      building during an election.

      20             So it is more than possible that a sexual

      21      predator will feel emboldened by this executive

      22      order, and will enter one of our schools, or wander

      23      around outside, just waiting for the opportunity to

      24      harm one of our children.

      25             That, is unacceptable.







                                                                   96
       1             My community wanted elections out of our

       2      schools before Executive Order 181.

       3             Now we believe that it is imperative.

       4             In the near future, thanks to

       5      Senator Phillips, it may be possible for our schools

       6      to opt out.

       7             Selecting a school as a polling location for

       8      elections poses a serious potential threat to the

       9      safety of our children, staff, and teachers, a

      10      threat that may be easily eliminated.

      11             Senator Phillips has proposed legislation

      12      known as S9155.  The bill, if approved by the

      13      Legislature and signed by the Governor, would allow

      14      schools to opt out of polling.

      15             This is an important step, a commonsense

      16      piece of legislation.

      17             We know our communities and the schools that

      18      our children attend better than any county board of

      19      election.

      20             Our local elected school boards, and the

      21      superintendents that of our individual school

      22      districts -- of our individual school districts,

      23      know our schools better than anyone else.

      24             In fact, school-safety plans are designed by

      25      the superintendent based on the specific needs of







                                                                   97
       1      their individual schools.

       2             Our superintendents, and the school boards

       3      that serve us, should determine if an election may

       4      be safely conducted within our schools, not an

       5      unelected county official.

       6             Senator Phillips' bill, if passed, would do

       7      just that.

       8             The legislation would give our school

       9      districts the legal right to tell the board of

      10      elections, "Not in our schools, we opt out."

      11             Schools cannot enforce a school-safety plan

      12      and conduct an election.

      13             School-safety plans and the election process

      14      are mutually exclusive.

      15             As I conclude my remarks, I ask all of you

      16      for my help -- for help.

      17             Executive Order 181 adds another layer of

      18      uncertainty.

      19             It makes no sense to allow a convicted

      20      predator entry into the schools.

      21             Schools do not have the financial resources,

      22      nor do they have the manpower, to provide the

      23      necessary level of security.

      24             To our elected representatives, vote "yes"

      25      when given the opportunity.  Make this bill a law.







                                                                   98
       1             To all of you in the audience, thank you for

       2      coming.

       3             Please call your representatives and urge

       4      them to support S9155.

       5             Our communities take school safety seriously.

       6             Tell them our schools should not be allowed

       7      to opt out of acting as polling -- should be allowed

       8      to opt out of polling locations for elections if

       9      that individual school district so chooses.

      10             Finally, to the Nassau County Board of

      11      Elections:  We ask that you do not hold the

      12      November 6th General Election at New Hyde Park

      13      Memorial High School.

      14             Tulley Park held the September 13th Primary

      15      vote.

      16             Tulley Park should also be the location of

      17      the November 6th General Election.

      18             Common sense, and the safety of our children,

      19      should count for something.

      20             No one should be allowed to compromise the

      21      safety of our school children because of a vote.

      22             The perceived inconvenience of moving polling

      23      out of a school should not trump a child's

      24      well-being or safety.

      25             Thank you for the opportunity to offer







                                                                   99
       1      testimony.

       2             Thank you all for listening.

       3             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  Thank you.

       4                [Applause.]

       5             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  I have a few questions,

       6      but if Senator Boyle or Marcellino --

       7             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Go right ahead.

       8             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  -- go ahead.

       9             SENATOR BOYLE:  Thank you, panelists.

      10             And thank you for your principled stances on

      11      this.

      12             As I mentioned earlier, a reference to a bill

      13      that I had introduced a number of years ago about

      14      banning polling in schools, I can tell you that, as

      15      soon as I introduced that piece of legislation,

      16      I was getting barraged by phone calls from around

      17      the state, from board of election commissioners,

      18      telling me, Do you know how much this is going to

      19      cost?

      20             And this was before the recent rash of school

      21      shootings.

      22             I mean -- and so my question is:

      23             I know you talked about mantraps.

      24             Do any of you, or do you know of any other

      25      school districts in Nassau or Suffolk county, that







                                                                   100
       1      have metal detectors?

       2             DR. MICHAEL NAGLER, Ph.D.:  We typically

       3      don't typically have metal detectors.

       4             Other security measures would be panic

       5      alarms, lockdown buttons, security bollards.  In

       6      some cases, armed guards.

       7             It's -- it's reached the point, even --

       8      between Sandy Hook and Parkland.

       9             Now, post-Parkland, it's reached the point

      10      where you really can't get in a school building.

      11             It's -- there are electronic doors, there's

      12      (indiscernible) keys; there are all sorts of

      13      measures to limit who comes in and out of the

      14      buildings.

      15             SENATOR BOYLE:  And you can't get into a

      16      school, except one day a year, on Election Day --

      17             DR. MICHAEL NAGLER, Ph.D.:  Well, multiple

      18      days, because there are multiple --

      19             SENATOR BOYLE:  -- there's primaries too.

      20             And, remember, in Presidential.

      21             Because we haven't changed the laws in

      22      New York State, there's a separate Presidential

      23      Primary.

      24             So we have three times that it -- it ended up

      25      becoming Presidential Election.







                                                                   101
       1             I would just add, parenthetically, that, you

       2      know, some of these school-shooters, obviously,

       3      they're evil individuals, but they're evilly smart

       4      too.  And they plan things out.  We see some of the

       5      shootings.

       6             So there's some sicko out there, getting

       7      ready, realizing, when they're -- this is an

       8      opportunity.

       9             And, God help us, if we allow that to happen.

      10             And I support Senator Phillips' bill.

      11             Thank you for your leadership on that,

      12      Senator.

      13             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Can one of you go

      14      through the idea of not closing on Election Day?

      15             I believe, Mr. Nagler -- Dr. Nagler, that you

      16      had talked about that, that that wasn't feasible.

      17             Can you go through that again, please?

      18             DR. MICHAEL NAGLER, Ph.D.:  We have to start

      19      school in the month of September.

      20             The earliest we can do it is September 1st,

      21      by law.  And we conclude the last day of regents, by

      22      law.

      23             Within that time --

      24             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Which is usually around

      25      June?







                                                                   102
       1             DR. MICHAEL NAGLER, Ph.D.:  Well, this year

       2      it's very late.

       3             But, normally, it's around the 22nd, the

       4      last -- the third Friday in June.

       5             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  (Indiscernible)

       6      June 20th, or something like that.

       7             Okay.

       8             DR. MICHAEL NAGLER, Ph.D.:  Within that, we

       9      all have contractual obligations of how many days

      10      our teachers and staff work, as high as 186 days, as

      11      low as 180.

      12             We're also mandated, we cannot receive State

      13      aid if we don't have a minimum of 180 days.

      14             So all of those things factor in around the

      15      three breaks we take:  The February, the

      16      Christmas/Hanukkah holiday, and the Passover/Easter

      17      break.

      18             Recently we've been adding additional

      19      holidays.  Lunar New Year.

      20             And not all of us do -- not every district.

      21      It's based on communities.

      22             But, every day you add, you take away a day

      23      of flexibility to get you 182 in.

      24             I'm using that as my example, is 182.

      25             This year was easy, because the regents ended







                                                                   103
       1      on the last Wednesday.  So we actually gained three

       2      days that we never had before.

       3             Next year it will be problematic again.  The

       4      way the holidays fall, it shrinks our window.

       5             So, sometimes, we need to open on Election

       6      Day.

       7             And, again, depending on the polling places

       8      and the district, it's less problematic for some

       9      districts than others.

      10             That's why I appreciate the way the bill was

      11      written, is it's the option of the district.

      12             If you can manage a secure polling place, so

      13      be it.

      14             If you cannot, then it's in your interest to

      15      change it.

      16             DR. JENNIFER MORRISON:  Especially when there

      17      are other available locations.

      18             For example, in New Hyde Park or in City

      19      Park, Mr. Reddan talked about Tulley Park.  It's

      20      right across the street from the Memorial High

      21      School.

      22             It's got a better facility, better access...

      23      better everything.

      24             And the board of elections is choosing to put

      25      the vote in our high school.







                                                                   104
       1             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Did they give you a

       2      reason for that?

       3             DR. JENNIFER MORRISON:  I have my guesses,

       4      which I probably shouldn't --

       5             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  No, I want to know.

       6             JAMES REDDAN:  No, there was no reason given.

       7             DR. JENNIFER MORRISON:  I can give you a few

       8      guesses.

       9             JAMES REDDAN:  Well, we all know why.

      10             Because they took it out of our schools --

      11             DR. JENNIFER MORRISON:  They took it out of

      12      the elementary schools.

      13             JAMES REDDAN:  -- and they didn't want to

      14      take it out of the school for us, because, if they

      15      did that for us, they might have to do that for

      16      other locations.

      17             DR. MICHAEL NAGLER, Ph.D.:  I would just add

      18      that the New Hyde Park is an elementary district.

      19      And the high school is Sewanhaka District.

      20             So, technically, it's two different

      21      districts.

      22             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Different districts.

      23             Okay.

      24             DR. JENNIFER MORRISON:  Same families.

      25             DR. MICHAEL NAGLER, Ph.D.:  So they did move







                                                                   105
       1      it out of one district.

       2             JAMES REDDAN:  Yes --

       3             DR. JENNIFER MORRISON:  Completely.

       4             JAMES REDDAN:  -- New Hyde Park is a school

       5      district unto itself.  It covers the four elementary

       6      schools.

       7             The Sewanhaka Central High School District

       8      covers five high schools, one of which is New Hyde

       9      Park Memorial High School.

      10             Two of the members that sit on the board of

      11      education at New Hyde Park Gardens sit on the

      12      Sewanhaka board.

      13             The board of elections knows the location, it

      14      knew our community, and it chose to put it in our

      15      school, when Tulley Park is a better location.

      16             First-floor access, handicap-accessible.

      17      A gigantic parking field.

      18             No reason, really.

      19             In our location, at least in my community, it

      20      might -- this might not be true of all communities,

      21      we have various places to hold elections.

      22             The volunteer firemen in our community, both

      23      in the Garden City Park Fire District and the

      24      New Hyde Park Fire District, are more than willing

      25      to offer their firehouses to help us in our cause.







                                                                   106
       1             The board of elections surveyed New Hyde

       2      Park's firehouses.  They surveyed Tulley Park.

       3             And they chose New Hyde Park Memorial High

       4      School for the Primary.

       5             We fought.

       6             Senator Phillips -- we called

       7      Senator Phillips, Assemblyman Ed Ra, Councilman

       8      Town -- Town of North Hempstead Councilman

       9      Andrew Ferrara, and Assembly -- excuse me,

      10      Richard Nicolello.

      11             They helped us; they moved that Primary vote.

      12             But they still, at least as far as we know,

      13      intend on holding the General Election at New Hyde

      14      Park Memorial High School.

      15             That's unacceptable.

      16             The school is not set up for that.  Never has

      17      been a polling location.

      18             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  Let me make one comment

      19      to -- that was stated.

      20             We -- I attempted, and in the Senate, to pass

      21      legislation that would give school districts the

      22      option of starting school up to three days before

      23      September 1st and get State aid for it.

      24             You can now, but they don't get State aid for

      25      it.







                                                                   107
       1             And I, literally, almost got booed out of the

       2      Senate chamber by the Minority's party.

       3             So much for that idea.

       4             I tried, thinking it would give school

       5      districts an option, given the amazing diversity we

       6      have here on Long Island, and, really, throughout

       7      New York State.

       8             So, I have a couple of questions for the

       9      school superintendents:

      10             How are your schools notified that specific

      11      registered sex offenders would be appearing at your

      12      schools on Primary and election days?

      13             DR. MICHAEL NAGLER, Ph.D.:  We were not

      14      notified.

      15             DR. JENNIFER MORRISON:  No, not at all.

      16             We were not notified.

      17             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  Maybe a phone call from

      18      me.

      19             DR. JENNIFER MORRISON:  No, I mean, we did

      20      not receive anything --

      21             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  No notification?

      22             DR. JENNIFER MORRISON:  -- whatsoever.

      23             No notification.

      24             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  And was there any

      25      notification given to you when the decision on







                                                                   108
       1      September 7th was made by the Department of

       2      Criminal -- I think, is it the DOCCS?

       3             DR. JENNIFER MORRISON:  The department of

       4      corrections.

       5             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  Thank you.

       6             -- was there any notification to you that the

       7      sex offenders would be allowed after 7 p.m.?

       8             DR. JENNIFER MORRISON:  No.

       9             I actually read it in the newspaper.

      10             DR. MICHAEL NAGLER, Ph.D.:  I received no

      11      notification.

      12             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  And one of you mentioned

      13      that you provide -- I think it was Dr. Nagler,

      14      that you provide additional security on election

      15      days, and that's a cost.

      16             Who absorbs that cost?

      17             DR. MICHAEL NAGLER, Ph.D.:  The Mineola

      18      taxpayers.

      19             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  Thank you.

      20             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  So neither of your

      21      schools, you didn't get any requests at all to do

      22      with sex-offender voting at the school?

      23             DR. MICHAEL NAGLER, Ph.D.:  No.

      24             DR. JENNIFER MORRISON:  No, we did not.

      25             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  You mentioned an incident.







                                                                   109
       1             You had one incident on Primary Day?

       2             What was it?

       3             DR. MICHAEL NAGLER, Ph.D.:  We had a voter

       4      find their way to a bathroom, and it had fecal

       5      matter on the walls.  Had some cleaning to do after

       6      they used the facility.

       7             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  So more related to your

       8      security concerns, as opposed to the gov -- in

       9      general --

      10             DR. MICHAEL NAGLER, Ph.D.:  (Indiscernible.)

      11             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  -- as opposed to the

      12      Governor's --

      13             DR. MICHAEL NAGLER, Ph.D.:  Yes.

      14             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  -- so that was unrelate --

      15      incident unrelated to the Governor's executive

      16      order?

      17             DR. MICHAEL NAGLER, Ph.D.:  Correct.

      18             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Is it fair to say that all

      19      of you would agree that you're in the education

      20      business and shouldn't be in the election business?

      21             DR. JENNIFER MORRISON:  Oh, wholeheartedly.

      22             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Is that a fair statement?

      23             DR. MICHAEL NAGLER, Ph.D.:  Absolutely, yes.

      24             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  So you know, we did have

      25      testimony yesterday from the New York State







                                                                   110
       1      Association of School Superintendents, and their

       2      New York State School Boards Association, very --

       3      you know, very similar to all of your testimony

       4      today with the points that you made.

       5             And one additional point, and I think, Jim,

       6      I think you mentioned this, about the process

       7      regarding a certificate of release -- relief going

       8      to a judge.

       9             DR. MICHAEL NAGLER, Ph.D.:  Yes.

      10             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  This is really just for

      11      information.

      12             Their process -- there's another way to do

      13      it.

      14             Somebody who has been in state prison can

      15      make application to the parole board as well, and

      16      they have the authority, separately, to issue a

      17      certificate of relief.

      18             So, that provision did exist, that they could

      19      ask at any time for that.

      20             So I just want to point that out.

      21             You did mention the other part in the law.

      22             I just want to make it part of the record.

      23             JAMES REDDAN:  It's on the books.

      24             The Legislature passed that, and allowed

      25      everybody to do that, which is why Executive







                                                                   111
       1      Order 181 really doesn't make sense, because, you,

       2      along with your colleagues in Albany, are the ones

       3      that are supposed to create law; not the Governor.

       4             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you all for your

       5      testimony.

       6             DR. JENNIFER MORRISON:  Thank you.

       7             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  (Indiscernible.)

       8             JAMES REDDAN:  Excuse me?

       9             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Can we have you on the

      10      record telling him that?

      11             JAMES REDDAN:  I'll come up to Albany.  I'll

      12      shake his hand and tell him, What are you doing?

      13             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you again.

      14             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  Thank you.

      15             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Next we have will

      16      James Royall, and, Jared, I apologize, Chausow --

      17             Have I pronounced it correctly?

      18             JARED CHAUSOW:  Not bad.

      19             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  -- from the Brooklyn

      20      Defender Services.

      21             Mr. Royall, did I pronounce you correctly as

      22      well?

      23             Okay.  Good.

      24             Thank you for your patience.

      25             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  Yes, thank you very much.







                                                                   112
       1             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  We appreciate your

       2      willingness to be here today, and to testify.

       3             And my understanding is, Mr. Royall, you're

       4      going to present the testimony?

       5             JAMES ROYALL:  Yes, I am.

       6             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  If I could --

       7             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Excuse me.

       8             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  -- I apologize, for one

       9      more second, because I do want to announce that the

      10      Nassau County Board of Elections have been in the

      11      audience, Mr. Joe Ra and Mr. Steve Marks.

      12             I want to thank them.

      13             They were unable to testify, but they did

      14      want to listen to the testimony.

      15             So, thank you for coming.

      16             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  And also scheduled to

      17      testify is a representative from the Suffolk Board

      18      of Elections?

      19             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  Yes.  Nicholas LaLota.

      20             Nicholas, are you here?

      21             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Which we understand, he is

      22      now not going to be able to attend?

      23             All right.  Thank you.

      24             All right.  Mr. Royall.

      25             JAMES ROYALL:  Well, first, I would like to







                                                                   113
       1      say that, thank you for having me, and, you know,

       2      allowing me to testify on this important issue.

       3             My name is James Royall.  I'm a reentry

       4      advocate at Brooklyn Defender Services.

       5             And we provide criminal defense, family

       6      defense, immigration, civil legal services,

       7      social-work support, and tools for self-advocacy in

       8      nearly 35,000 cases involving indigent Brooklyn

       9      residents every year.

      10             As part of the reentry unit, I provide a

      11      comprehensive support for people upon release from

      12      prisons or jails, and direct advocacy on behalf of

      13      our clients while they are incarcerated.

      14             I know the meaning of parole release, the

      15      heartbreak and devastation of being denied, and of

      16      the joy when it is granted.

      17             I also know the hardship of incarceration for

      18      families.

      19             In fact, I'm also here on behalf of the

      20      New Hour in Brentwood, the Nassau County Jail

      21      Advocates, prison families, (indiscernible), and

      22      Universalist Unitarian Congregation at Shelter Rock,

      23      and the Second Chance Reentry.

      24             By countless indicators, incarceration

      25      throughout the United States, including in New York,







                                                                   114
       1      is historically a global anomaly.

       2             States, including New York, there are more

       3      people under correctional supervision across the

       4      country than were in the Gulag at its in early

       5      1950s.

       6             Until the spread of a mandatory minimum

       7      sentence and regimes that developed as a part of the

       8      War on Drugs in the 1970s and the 1980s, the

       9      incarceration rates across the country had remained

      10      relatively constant for a long time.

      11             Here in New York, the average rate of

      12      incarceration was less than 75 incarcerated people

      13      per 100,000 people for a century, until it more than

      14      quintupled during this period, that decade from the

      15      '70s to the '80s.

      16             Here in New York State, the stark and

      17      persistent racial disparities in incarceration

      18      rates, and every other aspect of the criminal legal

      19      system, had led many to call it the "New Jim Crow."

      20             Notably, incarceration rates for White people

      21      did not substantially rise under the new harsher

      22      sentencing laws and guidelines.

      23             Now, thanks to part of the new drug law

      24      enforcement reforms, the current incarceration rate

      25      in New York has fallen by a quarter since its peak







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       1      in 1999 and crimes rates have plummeted.

       2             But, New York's incarceration rate is still

       3      nearly double of that in Maine, and about

       4      3 1/2 times of that of Germany.

       5             To truly roll back mass incarceration,

       6      New York must expand parole release for those who

       7      have rehabilitated themselves and transformed their

       8      lives.

       9             It has been said that those that had once

      10      been deprived of it is the ones that's closer to the

      11      solution.

      12             And, even as New York's prison population has

      13      gradually declined, a number of incarcerated people

      14      age 50 or older jumped by 46 percent.

      15             So the elderly population has grown as the

      16      New York's population, overall, has declined.

      17             These are mostly men and women who have

      18      committed serious crimes decades ago, or who have

      19      taken advantage of every opportunity permitted by

      20      the difficult incarcerated environment to turn their

      21      lives around and make amends, and want to rejoin the

      22      fabric of society, their families.

      23             And, when I say "make amends," is giving

      24      back.

      25             It's making sure 10, 12, 20 people don't do







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       1      the same thing that one person did a long time ago.

       2             That's a beneficial process.

       3             That's very beneficial for the state of our

       4      affairs.

       5             That is the order of the day.

       6             Yet, far too often, New Yorkers, especially

       7      older adults, are dying in prison after being denied

       8      parole multiple times, including nearly 1,000 such

       9      deaths under the current governor.

      10             We can and must safely expand parole release,

      11      and that is the key --

      12                [Cell phone ringing.]

      13             I don't know how that happened.

      14             Excuse me.

      15             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Glad it was yours, and not

      16      mine.

      17             JAMES ROYALL:  It was mine.

      18             I'm sorry.

      19                [Laughter.]

      20             JAMES ROYALL:  -- so -- yet, far too often,

      21      New Yorkers, especially older adults, are dying in

      22      prison after being denied parole multiple times,

      23      including nearly 1,000 such under the current

      24      governor.

      25             We can, and must, safely expand parole







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       1      release, while reinvesting the savings produced by

       2      decreased populations and meaningful support in

       3      crime -- and meaningfully supporting crime victims

       4      and their families, including those who themselves

       5      have committed -- who may have committed crimes.

       6             One of the things about safely expanding

       7      parole release and reinvesting in savings, that is

       8      definitely my favorite line, "the order of the day."

       9             When you are able to use individuals that has

      10      once have been the problem, and they are now the

      11      solution, and they have been evaluated, they are not

      12      their worst mistake.

      13             You know, there's an evaluative process.

      14             They have spoke about the risk assessment,

      15      but it's not just the risk assessment alone.

      16             You know, there's a whole history, a

      17      historical background, on this individual.

      18             They are being (indiscernible).

      19             We're not saying let all individuals that

      20      are -- the mistake they made 20, 30, 40 years ago,

      21      even 10 years ago.

      22             We're saying, evaluate these individuals, and

      23      let them go if they pass that test.

      24             This is how we can bring safety and justice

      25      to New York, and stop the cycles of trauma and







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       1      violence.

       2             We must come together and work together.

       3             John MacKenzie's tragic death is a symbolic

       4      of a broken parole system that continues to

       5      undermine the presumed rehabilitative nature of our

       6      criminal legal system.

       7             Presumed rehabilitative nature of our

       8      criminal legal system.

       9             John was an extraordinary person, a

      10      Long Island resident, who took full responsibility

      11      for his serious crime, and did everything to make

      12      amends.

      13             He started a victim-awareness program,

      14      obtained multiple college degrees, and helped

      15      countless young men transform their lives through

      16      group therapy and direct mentorship.

      17             He would have been a crucial asset to the

      18      community if given the chance.

      19             In fact, Justice Maria Rosa of the

      20      New York State Supreme Court in Dutchess County held

      21      the parole board in contempt for refusing to give

      22      any justification for denying Mr. MacKenzie's

      23      release beyond his original crime.

      24             After throwing out an earlier denial, and

      25      ordering a new hearing, at which the board's







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       1      decision was virtually the same, the New York State

       2      parole risk assessment, COMPAS, had found that

       3      70-year-old John MacKenzie posed absolutely no

       4      threat to society, but he was still denied parole

       5      for the tenth time.

       6             A week later, he committed suicide.  He

       7      hanged himself with a sheet.

       8             His adult daughters will never see him free,

       9      or at all, despite all that he did to make positive

      10      changes in so many lives; not only his self, but so

      11      many lives.

      12             That is (indiscernible) that repeated in

      13      unjustifiable parole denials wreak on our loved ones

      14      and community members.

      15             That is why Brooklyn Defender Services joins

      16      with our allies in the parole justice movement to

      17      say, Bring our elders home.

      18             In addition, I applaud Governor Cuomo's

      19      executive order, giving people on parole the

      20      opportunity to vote, which turned the page on a

      21      shameful Jim Crow error policy, and helped to affirm

      22      our state's commitment to democracy.

      23             Any rollback of this long overdue reform

      24      would be a huge injustice and an embarrassment to

      25      our state.







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       1             The fact that some politicians may have

       2      managed to link expanded voting rights and alleged

       3      public safety threats is -- excuse me, let me say

       4      that again.

       5             The fact that some politicians have managed

       6      to link expanded voting rights with alleged public

       7      safety threats is reminiscent of the infamous

       8      southern strategy of stroking wide fear and anger.

       9             So I ask, please, can we come together to

      10      improve safety and end the injustices of our state

      11      without demonizing people, without demonizing us?

      12             We need to come together and work together.

      13             Thank you.

      14             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  Thank you, sir.

      15             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Thank you, sir.

      16                [Applause.]

      17             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  You did make some

      18      recommendations in your written testimony, on

      19      "Conclusion," a reference to two different bills

      20      that I am familiar with, and the composition of the

      21      parole board.

      22             So I do note that, and that will be part of

      23      the record also.

      24             I've got a question, but, you what?

      25             Let me first say, at the very end, you talked







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       1      about coming together and working together.

       2             I concur, I share that.

       3             And I think if we had more of that in public

       4      service, we would do much better for our

       5      communities.

       6             So, thank you for saying that, and keep

       7      talking to your elected officials about that, all of

       8      us.

       9             I appreciate that.

      10             Beyond that, question in two areas.

      11             It's pretty interesting to me, and this is

      12      among the reasons that I articulated earlier for

      13      holding these hearings, specifically with the parole

      14      board itself.

      15             My observation has been:

      16             That we've got those that might focus on law

      17      and order are unhappy with the parole board.

      18             Those that focus on inmate advocacy are

      19      unhappy with the parole board.

      20             Those that are elected as Republicans seem

      21      unhappy, have expressed unhappiness.

      22             Those elected as Democrats have expressed

      23      unhappiness.

      24             Upstate, downstate, east and west.

      25             So, clearly, there's an issue.







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       1             So I want to ask you about two different

       2      areas, unless you're satisfied that these areas are

       3      adequate.

       4             The first has to do with transparency of the

       5      parole board operations, and second has to do with

       6      parole board accountability.

       7             And I'm curious if you have any thoughts

       8      about either one of them.

       9             JAMES ROYALL:  Well, I think that the answer

      10      to both questions is with this one answer:

      11             I believe that the standards and the

      12      structured 259-i -- Executive Order 259-i, that's

      13      standard, and the risk assessment is standard.

      14             I believe those are some viable structures;

      15      however, it has to be followed.

      16             That's the broken part of the parole system

      17      for me.

      18             For the other side, the broken part is that

      19      they are letting individuals go.  Some individuals

      20      are coming home.

      21             However, there is one individual that may be

      22      released out of ten, may have, I would call it

      23      "recidivate."  Then there's a big hoopla about that.

      24      And then the other nine individuals has to suffer

      25      for that.







                                                                   123
       1             So that's a broken part, and they blame that

       2      on the parole board.

       3             But that's the individual.

       4             That's -- I don't believe anything is

       5      100 percent.

       6             That's one out of 10 that they missed, but

       7      everybody else shouldn't have to suffer from that.

       8             So the tools that's in place should be in

       9      place, and it should be followed.

      10             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Okay.  Thank you for that.

      11             Other questions?

      12             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  I have a question for

      13      Mr. Royall.

      14             Thank you.

      15             And, again, I want to echo what

      16      Senator Gallivan said; that this is -- it really

      17      seems to be a broken system.  And the only way we're

      18      going to fix it is we all work together.

      19             So, thank you.

      20             You used the word "presumed" rehabilitation.

      21             And I carefully listened to you use the word

      22      "presumed."

      23             So, please, correct me if I'm wrong, but it

      24      sounds like the system isn't great when it comes to

      25      rehabilitation.







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       1             Do you have suggestions on how we might

       2      legislatively guide the parole board, or to help

       3      that rehabilitation process?

       4             Isn't that what our goal is for an

       5      individual?

       6             JAMES ROYALL:  Well, the rehabilitation

       7      process, for me, is not a job of the parole board.

       8             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  Right?

       9             JAMES ROYALL:  It's the job of the prison

      10      system.

      11             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  Of the prison system.

      12             JAMES ROYALL:  So, I don't believe that

      13      there's many structures in place inside the prison

      14      system, created by the prison system, that speaks to

      15      rehabilitation.

      16             On paper, you might see that they have a

      17      school in every prison.  They may have programs in

      18      every prison.

      19             And for the paper, it looks good.

      20             But individual (indiscernible) --

      21             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  But in reality?

      22             JAMES ROYALL:  -- in reality, of course, it's

      23      not like that.

      24             It's like a basketball team has beautiful

      25      people on their team.  It looks like they're going







                                                                   125
       1      to win, and then they're in last place.

       2             So, what actually happens, when I said --

       3      also spoke about self-rehabilitation, self-advocacy,

       4      these individuals, they utilize those programs, they

       5      ace those programs, and then they're stuck.  There's

       6      no more left.

       7             When they're sitting in front of the parole

       8      board, they speak about all of the

       9      incarcerated-individuals' created programs, or the

      10      organizations that have created programs, that

      11      programs that are viable to society, programs that

      12      speaks to recidivism.

      13             Not programs that just speaks to education,

      14      which there is none there.

      15             You know, you have two to, maybe, three

      16      different types of educational systems in there.

      17             You have an adult basic education system, and

      18      that's for anybody that is not over, I believe, the

      19      ninth-, or eighth-grade, reading level.

      20             Everybody goes into this one class.

      21             Everybody is not on the same level.

      22             Then you have the pre-GED and GED class.  And

      23      we know what those are about.

      24             So, I believe they just have to restructure,

      25      really look at these things inside of the prison,







                                                                   126
       1      restructure it, because it's presumed from the

       2      outside, from society, that rehabilitation is going

       3      on, and that's why individuals are getting released.

       4             But, they are getting released because of the

       5      creative programs; those programs that speaks to the

       6      growth, the programs that speaks to the development,

       7      the programs that are progressive, that allows them

       8      to speak to their transformation, to their paradigm

       9      shift, and make the release.

      10             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  Thank you.

      11             I'd like to just mention one thing.

      12             It's slightly off topic, but, through the

      13      Heroin and Opiate Task Force that

      14      Senator Fred Akshar -- who else is co-chairing --

      15      and Senator Jacobs, and there's someone else, but

      16      I can't remember -- and Senator Amedore -- thank

      17      you -- we did public hearings across New York State,

      18      to listen on how the Senate could get involved and

      19      help the epidemic that we have throughout our

      20      country.

      21             And one of the many things that we heard was

      22      in our jail systems.

      23             And that it was Sheriff Apple in the

      24      Albany County that showed us, that if we could

      25      invest some state dollars, our taxpayer dollars,







                                                                   127
       1      into programs in the jail system, the level of

       2      recidivism goes down significantly.

       3             So, I am proud to say, here in Nassau County,

       4      we were able to give them over $200,000 just a

       5      couple weeks ago for exactly that; to help sponsor

       6      rehabilitation programs when it comes to drug

       7      addiction, so they can capture these individuals so

       8      the recidivism rate goes down.

       9             JAMES ROYALL:  That's great.

      10             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Well, thank you for your

      11      testimony.

      12             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  Yeah, thank you very much.

      13             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  I would like to thank

      14      everybody for their testimony, and their patience,

      15      of course.

      16             Oral testimony, as I mentioned earlier, is --

      17      will be available immediately on the Senate website

      18      from yesterday and today.

      19             Ultimately, all the written testimony, the

      20      various information-request submissions, will also

      21      be on the Senate website.

      22             The written testimony will not be immediate.

      23             And the ultimate report that comes out of

      24      this, and recommendations, again, can be found

      25      there.







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       1             I would like to thank -- oh, sir, go right

       2      ahead, if you have more.

       3             JAMES ROYALL:  I do have one additional thing

       4      I just wanted to mention.

       5             When I was speaking of John MacKenzie, that's

       6      a serious situation.

       7             The individual committed suicide.

       8             He was a very progressive individual.  Very.

       9             There's a lot of individuals in there like

      10      John MacKenzie, and they're going to the board,

      11      getting hit eight times.

      12             I know of a fellow named Marvin Lewis.

      13             He's a graduate of RTA (rehabilitation

      14      through the arts).  He has numerous college degrees.

      15             He hasn't had an infraction within 30 years.

      16             He doesn't have a homicide, or anything like

      17      that, but he do have involvement -- (indiscernible)

      18      involvement with a police officer.

      19             The police officer is not opposing his

      20      release, yet he's still getting hit.

      21             These are the things I'm talking about.

      22             You know, this individual is helping

      23      individuals inside.  He's doing a lot, he's reaching

      24      out.

      25             And these are the very things, before we, you







                                                                   129
       1      know, have these individuals killing themselves, you

       2      know, we have to look into this stuff.

       3             You know, and accountability is a big part of

       4      it, which you spoke about.  You gave dollars to the

       5      prison system.

       6             There has to be accountability somewhere

       7      here, because giving it just to the system, somebody

       8      in the system is not doing their jobs.

       9             So there has to be some type of

      10      accountability, measurement, some type of barometer,

      11      for our dollars that's going in there.

      12             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  That's exactly what I was

      13      getting at with the transparency and accountability.

      14             So we get to the point of, the law is the

      15      law, currently.  We have factors to consider and

      16      standards to meet.

      17             It's my belief that the board hasn't followed

      18      that, and -- all standards in all the cases.  And

      19      I think other people share that.

      20             But then beyond that, I don't know that

      21      there's any mechanism in place, from the Executive

      22      Branch, to ensure that they're -- they are following

      23      the standards.

      24             They are independent; however, there should

      25      be some sort of check and balance, in my view, that







                                                                   130
       1      if they're not doing what the law requires, that

       2      somebody can address the individual.

       3             And it might just simply be training.

       4             It might be greater transparency in

       5      reporting; that there's more public reporting of

       6      their activities that are out there.

       7             But that's actually what I was getting at,

       8      the point that you made.

       9             And thanks for bringing that up.

      10             JAMES REDDAN:  All right.

      11             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  Okay.  Are you good now?

      12             JAMES ROYALL:  Yeah.

      13             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  All right.

      14             I am going to turn over in a moment to

      15      Senator Phillips.

      16             But I just want to remind people about

      17      everything, it will be on the website, ultimately.

      18             And I thank everybody for being here, and

      19      dealing with these very -- in my view, very

      20      important public-policy topics.

      21             And I'll turn it back over to our Long Island

      22      Senators.

      23             SENATOR MARCELLINO:  Excuse me.

      24             What's the deadline for anybody submitting

      25      written testimony?







                                                                   131
       1             Is there a final deadline?

       2             SENATOR GALLIVAN:  No, but we can make one.

       3             We can go one week from -- seven days from

       4      today.

       5             That was not asked.

       6             SENATOR PHILLIPS:  So I just would like to

       7      end, to thank you all again for coming to the

       8      7th Senate District, particularly Senator Gallivan

       9      who traveled the farthest, Senator Marcellino and

      10      Senator Boyle, for participating in this;

      11             For the school board superintendents;

      12             For the PTA, or, PTS, participants here;

      13             For the Nassau County Board of Elections, for

      14      being here to listen;

      15             Law enforcement;

      16             And the defenders' organizations.

      17             But probably the -- our heartfelt thanks to

      18      those, the victims' families, who were kind enough

      19      to come and share their stories.

      20             So have a wonderful afternoon, everyone.

      21             God bless you all, and God bless our great

      22      country.

      23                (Whereupon, at approximately 1:16 p.m.,

      24        the public hearing concluded, and adjourned.)

      25                           ---oOo---