NY State Supreme Court Judge Richard Koweek reserved his decision in a suit against the NY State Parole Board brought by Mrs. Diane Piagentini, widow of assassinated Police Officer Joseph Piagentini, while continuing the temporary restraining (TRO) order keeping three-time convicted cop-killer Herman Bell incarcerated during this and all future court proceedings.
NY State Attorney General’s office argued that only inmates have the legal standing to challenge a parole board decision even when it is alleged that the board failed to follow the law and its own guidelines. The Attorney General’s representative argued that neither the victim nor the victim’s representative, in this case the widow of an assassinated police officer, has no legal standing. Judge Koweek noted that this was a most important issue; he reserved his decision and noted that he would begin considering the arguments on Monday, April 16th.
PBA president Patrick J. Lynch said:
“The laws of our country and state are enacted to protect everyone from unfair treatment, not just inmates. If the Attorney General’s argument prevails, it means that absolutely no one, other than convicted criminals, has a right to challenge a parole board decision even when it can be demonstrated that the board violated the law in its deliberations. That is an outrageous position that cannot be left standing. The widow of an assassinated police officer should have the right to challenge a flawed decision resulting from the failure of a panel to consider all of the required information in an effort to keep her husband’s assassin incarcerated.”