Over the past few years, one of the major pushes from liberal lawmakers — particularly at the state level — is to end “mass incarceration.” This, on its face, sounds like a good idea.
To the average voter, pictures of someone locked up for the better part of a decade for a small amount of drugs spring to mind. Not that all of them have a problem with drug prohibition, mind you: They just don’t believe penalties should be draconian.
However, not many people were thinking that ending “mass incarceration” would lead to serial killers being released. Yet, in Andrew Cuomo’s New York, that’s exactly what’s happening.
According to the New York Post, Marybeth Tinning — a mother who was convicted of smothering an infant daughter and is suspected of killing eight of her nine children — is being let out of prison by the state of New York.
That’s thanks to a parole board where most of the members were appointed by Cuomo, who’s been in office since 2011.
Tinning, 75, has one conviction for murdering her 4-month-old daughter in the 1980s. She also confessed to the murder of three more of her kids by asphyxiation and is a suspect in the deaths of another four.
Between 1967 and 1985, she had nine children, all of whom died at a young age. According to The Associated Press, only the death of her first child is considered to have resulted from natural causes. She also tried to kill her husband through barbiturate poisoning, although he decided against pressing charges.
Tinning has spent three decades behind bars. She’s been denied parole six times before. In 2011, AP reported, she told the board that, “After the deaths of my other children … I just lost it.”
“When my daughter was young . . . I just believed she was going to die. So I just did it.”
What’s changed in the intervening years seems more of a mystery than anything else, but Cuomo’s parole board seems to think it’s made Tinning eligible for release into the community.
Given Mr. Cuomo’s proud disregard for the unborn, perhaps his appointees find the recently born about as disposable.
This isn’t the only outrage to come out of the parole board in recent months. Two cop killers with the Black Liberation Army have been let out of prison by New York state: Herman Bell, who killed two NYPD officers in a Harlem ambush 40 years ago, and Robert Hayes, who shot and killed an NYPD transit cop in 1973.
Jose Diaz, who used a machine gun to kill an assistant prosecutor in 1990, is set to be released, according to the New York Post. Anthony Dwyer, who shoved an NYPD officer to his death down an air shaft in 1989 while being chased after a burglary, is also being released.
“People who kill cops and kids should never see the light of day, let alone be paroled,” New York state Sen. Jim Tedisco, a Republican, told the Post. “Where is the justice? . . . This is a total disgrace and an affront to the victims and the safety of the public.”
Cuomo isn’t the only governor practicing this sort of “justice.” In neighboring New Jersey, Democrat Gov. Phil Murray ran on the promise that his “Criminal Sentencing and Disposition Commission can undertake the important review of our sentencing laws and recommend reforms necessary to ensure a stronger, fairer and more just state.”
Yet, just one month ago, a gang member who should have been in prison until 2028 but was released in February killed one and injured over a dozen in a gang-related shooting at an art festival in Trenton. Naturally, Murphy blamed guns, saying that the shooting was “not inappropriate times to talk about gun policy. These are the most important times to talk about gun policy.”
But liberals don’t like to talk about putative criminal justice reform, which has released onto American streets people who shouldn’t be there because they haven’t completed their sentence — or they’ve committed a crime for which release from prison shouldn’t be an option.
Minor drug offenders these aren’t. Serial murderers and cop killers simply oughtn’t be on our streets again. One hopes they’ve found some solace and redemption behind bars, but that’s exactly where it ought to happen — behind bars.
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