Occasionally, the General Assembly acts in the public interest, and that is what has occurred through unanimous passage of legislation allowing crime victims and/or their representative(s) to testify at parole hearings for the criminals who shattered their lives.
Pennsylvania had been behind the times in regard to victims' rights, as it is in a multitude of other ways. I remember years ago watching relatives of murder victims of the loony Charles Manson testify at his “theater of the absurd” parole hearings. In part due to their steadfastness and diligence, and that of the esteemed prosecutor in the case, Manson has not ever been seriously considered for parole and is not likely ever to be granted release.
He and his fellow murderous savages should have been executed decades ago, but in lieu of that, life in prison will have to suffice. No one affected by his crime spree should ever have to worry that he will be sprung from prison.
Pennsylvania has taken a step forward in prioritizing those who have suffered due to the barbaric acts of criminals.
Now, if only we had a death penalty statute that had not been nullified by our liberal courts.
Oren M. Spiegler
Upper St. Clair
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