Convicted killer Matthew Solomon's release sparks calls for justice reform

The release of convicted newlywed killer Matthew Solomon on parole has led to demands for justice for crime victims and their families.

News 12 Staff

May 16, 2019, 4:22 PM

Updated 1,857 days ago

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The release of convicted newlywed killer Matthew Solomon on parole has led to demands for justice for crime victims and their families.
Stephen Klerk says the image of his cousin Lisa -- dead, stuffed in a bag and dumped in a field -- will never stop haunting him. He and his family are still reeling after Solomon was released from an upstate prison two days ago. He was denied parole seven times before that.
But some groups say keeping people in prison, based solely on the crime they were convicted of committing decades ago, isn't fair.
Serena Liguori, executive director of New Hour for Women and Children Long Island, says other considerations should be taken, such as prisoner rehabilitation and overall time served. Her group provides support and programs for women who are incarcerated and being released.
Republicans and Democrats in the state Legislature are now haggling over proposed reforms to the criminal justice system. State Sen. Phil Boyle says Democrats are proposing ideology that is pro-criminal. But Democrats say, "It's shameful that the same Senate Republicans who held up the Child Victims Act and other pro-victim bills for years are trying to rewrite history."
Klerk says he hopes some of the GOP proposals are passed. He says he wants parole hearings changed from every two years to every five, and he wants all victim impact statements to be recorded and reviewed by state Parole Board members before a hearing.
A Parole Board spokesperson told News 12: "Despite their best efforts to forget it, each member was vetted and approved by the same Republicans who organized today's presser."


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