The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York (NYCPBA) has filed, on behalf of Mrs. Diane Piagentini, the widow of assassinated Police Officer Joseph Piagentini, a request to suspend the parole of three-time cop-killer, Herman Bell, and seeks a rescission hearing that, if successful, will continue the killer’s incarceration.
The document makes the request “…on the grounds that significant information existed which was not considered by the New York State Board of Parole (Board) and release on parole is incompatible with the welfare of society.” The request cites the parole decision which noted that the sentencing minutes in the original murder trial were not available in the file that they reviewed. Failure to consider them in this parole hearing is, according to the document, “contrary to law.” Additionally, the request notes that Police Officer Jones’s brother, Manny, who became aware of the decision to release Bell through news reports, and who is now registered with the Board as a victim, has the right to present a statement to the Board on the impact that the murder has had on his life. The request also notes the lack of remorse shown by Bell through his prior seven hearings, all of which denied him parole, and states that it appears that “…Bell’s statements were tailored to fit the Board’s rehabilitation guidelines.”
PBA President Patrick J. Lynch said:
“It seems very strange to New York City Police Officers that this board has failed to review critical sentencing minutes that had been available to all seven prior panels that refused to release this cold-blooded killer. Equally strange is that the three most junior and inexperienced panelists were chosen to sit in judgment on what is certainly one of the most serious crimes a parole board ever has to hear. It certainly gives the appearance that the deck was stacked in favor of the release of this heartless, cold-blooded murderer.”
Mrs. Diane Piagentini said:
“My family and I are devastated at the board’s decision to release Herman Bell, my husband’s murderer. I join Waverly Jones’s brother and sister in the belief that Bell can get out when my Joseph comes back. Why isn’t this board recognizing that, even today, there are crimes that deserve the sentence of life without parole, and murdering a police officer is one of them. My family and I appreciate all the support that we have been receiving from elected officials, from current and former police officers and from our friends and neighbors since this miscarriage of justice was announced. I pray that this request for a new hearing will be granted and that, when the panel is provided with all the information, they will come to the proper decision and deny Herman Bell parole.”