Monday, May 05, 2008

Yet Another Reason Why MOVE Members Not Be Granted Parole

(Police are searching for Eric Floyd, 33, last of Clearfield Street, in connection with the shooting death of police Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski. There is a $123,000 reward)

Sign The Petition To Keep MOVE Members In Jail. No To Parole For Cop-Killers!

By all indications, it looks as if all eight of the MOVE members in jail for killing Officer James Ramp and the attempted murder of other Police Officers and Firefighters will not be granted parole.

This does fly in the face of statistics as the majority of defendants who do come before the board are granted parole and in Philadelphia at least, the majority of parolees commit crimes and end up back in jail.

It looks like Philadelphia is again reaping a harvest of death as a result of the State of Pennsylvania’s unwillingness to keep violent people behind bars as yet another Philadelphia Police Officer has “allegedly” been gunned down by a man granted parole after meeting his minimum sentence requirements.

Philadelphia Police Sergeant Stephen Liczbinski died from multiple gunshot wounds after being struck by bullets fired from a high-powered rifle, allegedly by Howard Cain, who along with two others, one of whom is still on the loose, were confronted by Police after robbing a bank.

Cain, himself was killed by pursuing Officers who had tracked him down in another part of the City. His “alleged” accomplice Lavon Warner was arrested and the third suspect, Eric Floyd is on the run and is considered by authorities to be armed and dangerous.

Aside from the obvious issues of rampant violent crime, an antipathy towards law enforcement by segments of society, there is the issue of parole that I came across while researching the possibility of MOVE members being granted parole.

The statistics, which are more than just disconcerting numbers for the grieving family of yet another murdered Police Officer, tell a tale of shocking indifference and a bureacracy that is failing the people it is bound and sworn to protect. And in this instance has contributed to Philadelphia’s body count by two, so far...

The Parole Board’s numbers reflect an increase in the percentage of people granted parole, starting from the mid-nineties when only around 30% of criminals who came before the board being paroled. Over a decade later, that percentage has doubled. If you combine that with the high recidivism rate in Philadelphia, the precipitous increase in violent crime in the City has at least one clear-cut cause. If you look at it another way, Philadelphia has a population of 1.5 million people, of which nearly 40, 000 will go thru the Philadelphia Prison System and return home. It has been reported that two thirds, or almost 23,000 will be arrested again, half of those going back to jail. It is a nightmare of a City of nightmares, gripped in fear, as the revolving doors of the Justice system, consumed with the real problems of over-crowding, budget constraints, etc...are releasing violent criminals onto the streets at an alarming rate, with tragic consequences.

Before “allegedly” murdering Officer Liczbinsk, Howard Cain had amassed quite a record, one that in a more sane and more just place would have had him safely behind bars right where he belonged. But instead he was free to roam and pillage the streets and he did just that.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer he went to jail in 1997 and walked out not even a decade later after being convicted of participating in armed robberies. These incidents however, were not his first. He apparently had already stolen a car and physically assaulted a Police Officer and these are the crimes that we know about.

So, while non-violent drug offenders and other less dangerous criminals rot away, men like Cain, who have a displayed a penchant for violence and disregard for human life get a pass from the parole board.

I cannot help but be nervous as I know full well that MOVE members, who despite the propaganda of their supporters, are unrepentant murdreres, with a violent past, and are beholden to an ideology that promises violence in the future, stand a fair chance of being relased in the coming years.

And while I hope that the death of Officer Liczbinsk was not in vain, that his senseless murder will have in it a silver lining of moral outrage towards the tolerance of violent criminals in society, I am also a realist and know that change often comes in measures of inches and not miles. I must, however, cling to the hope that the Parole Board re-examine itself and it’s responsibility towards the people of Pennsylvania.

They can start by explaining how over a decade ago only 30% percent of those coming up for parole were granted it, but now over 60% are. Are these kinder, gentler, felons? Was Howard Cain? Perhaps, if the Parole Board had treated a violent criminal with something other than kid gloves, both he and Officer Liczbinsk might still be alive and two families might not have been destroyed.


At 9:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We should parole violent criminals to halfway houses built at and around 49th and Baltimore ave.

At 10:56 AM , Blogger Nas Dawud said...

I think you alluded to part of the problem in your piece. Continuing to keep non-violent offenders whom are subjected to wrong headed mandatory minimus, and consequently prison over crowding, is one area change could begin.

It is the violent offenders who who should serve their entire sentence, and focus the subjective parole system towards non-violent offendes-often those with drug problems- who more often show a better possiblity at re assimiliating.

At 1:54 PM , Blogger Tony Allen said...

No doubt, if anything I understated the issue of non-violent drug offenders taking up jail cells and doing horrendous amounts of times, while violent criminals get their walking papers.

To put it simply, if you have money you get rehab, if you are poor you get jail. It is arguably one of the most screwed up parts of the judicial system


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