August 01, 2012

Group Mounts Campaign to Block Parole

Extract from report:

An organization that charges up to $250 to mount an organized campaign to prevent parole release of convicted killers has attracted the interest of defense attorneys resulting in a complaint to state and federal authorities.

Cheryl Kates, an attorney in the Rochester area who has one client who was recently denied parole after Parents of Murdered Children campaigned against his release, and five others who are targeted by the organization, is seeking an investigation.

"Community opposition is being purchased," Kates claimed in a July 10 letter to the inspector general of the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, and copied to the U.S. Department of Justice. "The parole board is being tricked. This is a violation of due process. Any petitions received from this organization should be removed from the inmate's file."

Peter Cutler, spokesman for the department, acknowledged the agency has received Kates' letter and will consider her complaint.

For complete report:
Group Mounts Campaign to Block Parole, by John Caher (New York Law Journal, July 30 2012)