A state Parole Board in early November approved the release of a woman who helped her boyfriend kill a Police Officer 21 years ago, and the cop’s widow and the Police Benevolent Association have charged that they were not given the required notification about an October hearing that would have allowed them to contest it.
The state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision insisted that “the family members of Officer Anthony Mosomillo were notified” prior to the hearing. But the PBA said that neither Margaret Mosomillo nor other relatives of the slain officer received notice of the parole board convening regarding the release of Betsy Ramos after she successfully appealed a denial of her release at the beginning of the year.
Considering that Ms. Mosomillo and other family members went before the January parole panel to offer victim impact statements in arguing against Ms. Ramos’s release, we find it hard to believe they would not have taken the time to appear again if properly notified.
Beyond the apparent breach of the process, we would question the decision to release Ms. Ramos, given the circumstances of the case. Unlike Judith Clark, who was released last April after serving more than 37 years behind bars for her role in the killing of a Brink’s guard and two Nyack police officers, Ms. Ramos was convicted of being directly involved in the fatal shooting after she helped her boyfriend grab Officer Mosomillo’s service weapon while the boyfriend used his own gun to fatally wound the cop. In Ms. Clark’s case, she acted as a getaway driver but had no direct role in the shootings, and also had to her credit more than three decades of being an exemplary inmate.
Paroles in any case involving the death of a police officer should be granted sparingly. It is hard to see why Ms. Ramos was worthy of being one of the exceptions who had earned some leniency. And to be given it without Officer Mosomillo’s family being afforded the chance to once again testify as to the damage caused them by the egregious actions of Ms. Ramos and her boyfriend—who was shot dead by the officer in the gun battle—is inexcusable.
Referring to the letter she did receive—the one notifying her of the scheduled Dec. 10 release of Ms. Ramos—Margaret Mosomillo said in a statement released by the PBA, “That letter is what every family of a murdered police officer dreads, but the Parole Board could not care less. They have trampled my rights and hidden beyond bureaucracy.”
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