State GOP lawmakers to hold hearings into parolee releases, voting rights

Aug 7, 2018

Republican lawmakers in New York will hold hearings into recent decisions by the state parole board to release some high-profile offenders and the governor's decision to give voting rights to inmates.

The state Senate's GOP majority announced the move Monday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo tours a prison in upstate New York.
Credit NYS Governor's Office

No dates have been announced, but lawmakers say the hearings will focus on several parole decisions, including one earlier this year to release 70-year-old Herman Bell, a former Black Liberation Army radical who killed two New York City police officers in 1971.

The hearings will also examine Gov. Andrew Cuomo's decision to restore voting rights of thousands of former inmates.

The Democratic governor's spokesman noted that the parole board acts independently and that Cuomo himself has disagreed with some of its decisions. He said the governor's decision to restore voting rights is in line with more than a dozen other states.