PORT JEFFERSON - Gov. David Paterson (D-N.Y.) responded to criticism of his controversial decision to commute the sentence to time served for a Miller Place father convicted of fatally shooting a teenager in 2006.
During a news conference today, Paterson said he phoned the parents of the victim, 17-year-old Daniel Cicciaro, Jr., to explain his decision to commute John White's sentence.
White was convicted of manslaughter in the racially charged shooting of Cicciaro and sentenced to up to four years in prison. At the time, White claimed his gun accidentally went off after a group of teens gathered outside his home to attack his son.
Paterson admitted that he probably should have contacted the victim's family before commuting White's sentence. However, he says the discussion would not have changed his decision.
"His further incarceration in a situation such as this would not serve any public interest," Paterson said.
Since being released from prison, White has been spending time with his family at his Miller Place home.