New York State Political Prisoner Herman Bell convicted of the 1971 killing of two New York City Police Officers appeared before the parole board for the fifth time on March 21, 2012. Despite an unblemished institutional record for nearly 40 years, a viable release plan and even support for release from the family of one of the deceased officers, the panel rejected release as “incompatible with the welfare of society” because it “would deprecate the seriousness of the offense.”
The three-person (two white, one Black) panel consisted of a former prosecutor, a former police detective and a victims’ rights advocate.
Herman is of course disappointed but is otherwise in good spirits. He plans to appeal the decision. Most importantly, he thanks all those who supported his release and urges everyone to support parole release for New York State PPs Jalil Muntaquin and Robert Seth Hayes both of whom go before the Board in June 2012.