Governor Murphy’s pandemic credit prisoner release program has been a disaster, but we continue to find out exactly how bad it’s been as time transpires.
Here’s the latest: according to documents obtained by GOP members of the Assembly’s budget committee, over 40% of inmates sprung from jail under the October 2020 law had previously been denied parole. That’s 3,152 prisoners, some of whom were incarcerated for serious offenses.
A previous analysis revealed that nearly 1 in 10 had reoffended post-release.
Over 7,600 prisoners have been released in total representing a 75% decrease in the state’s inmate population. The parole board did not provide any additional information concerning the inmates denied parole or their crimes.
“There are still a lot questions to answer,” said Assemblyman Hal Wirths (R-24), who served on the parole board before joining the Legislature. “Clearly, freeing criminals who were determined to still be dangerous was more important to Governor Murphy than the safety of law-abiding people, but what else is new.”
We do know that three inmates released pursuant to the program – Jerry Crawford, Ronny Paden, and Theodore Luckey – were subsequently accused of committing murder AFTER release.
Another freed inmate – Charles Kane – had been incarcerted for murdering a 3-year-old.
“This is a shocking revelation,” said Assemblywoman Aura Dunn (R-25). “Innocent lives were lost when inmates murdered others after their release. Superseding the decisions of the parole board is irresponsible no matter the justification. Inmates are denied parole because they are determined to still be dangerous or not yet fully ready to rejoin society.”