Empathy for Family, and Prisoner

New York Law Journal


The article "Attorney Whose Home Was Site of 1980 Murder Campaigns to Keep Killer Behind Bars Forever," (March 13), is a fascinating insight into how an obsession can block out facts, law and empathy. It depicts the quest of attorney Scott Saks to keep Terry Losicco, who committed a murder at age 16, from ever obtaining parole. The facts of the heinous crime are detailed, along with the pain of the relatives of the victims, Eleanor and Norman Prouty, each time parole is considered. Yet while victim impact is an important value, our society consciously prosecutes in the name of "The People," not only on behalf of those who were wronged. Other values such as rehabilitation and future dangerousness are at the core of parole hearings. Terry Losicco, now 50, is described as a model prisoner; and statistics show the slimmest chance of recidivism were he released. Saks says he doesn't care, that he'd like to make Life Without Parole (LWOP) retroactive for Losicco. Not only would the law prevent that, however, recently the Supreme Court in Miller v Alabama ruled that mandatory life without parole for juveniles is unconstitutional. So on the law and the facts, Losicco deserves parole.

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