DNC Included Criminal Justice Advocate Convicted for 1985 Kidnapping and Grisly Murder
A Democrat hailed as a criminal justice advocate at last week’s Democratic National Convention served almost 27 years in prison for her role in a grisly 1980s torture-murder.
Donna Hylton was sentenced to 25 years to life for her role in the murder of businessman Thomas Vigliarolo.
On Thursday, the convention hailed her as one of “America’s most impactful community leaders” as she participated in a video reading of the Preamble to the Constitution, according to Fox News.
Not everyone was impressed.
“The video reading of the Preamble to the Constitution by some of ‘America’s most impactful community leaders’ included one Donna Hylton. She’s a former prostitute who served 26 years in prison for drugging, raping and murdering a 62-year-old man in Harlem,” Howie Carr wrote in an Op-Ed in the Boston Herald.
The Police Tribune noted Hylton’s participation this way: “DNC Puts Convicted Murderer On Virtual Convention Stage, Calls Her Community Leader.”
Law Enforcement Today reported in its coverage of Hylton’s appearance that it “comes as no surprise that the Democrats chose to showcase a criminal, considering they also chose to ignore the crime raging across the country in the form of ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Antifa’ riots.”
Hylton was among those convicted in the 1985 drugging and kidnapping of Vigliarolo at the behest of Louis Miranda, who accused Vigliarolo of swindling him out $139,000. The kidnappers, three men and four women, held Vigliarolo prisoner for 15 days during which they starved, burned, beat, sexually assaulted and raped him. He died of “asphyxiation and the deprivations of his imprisonment,” the prosecutor said.
Twitter debated Hylton’s participation.
Donna Hylton was once convicted of kidnapping, rape, torture and murder and then sentenced to 25 years to life.
This week, she was given a speaking role at the Democratic National Convention nominating the Biden-Harris ticket.
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) August 21, 2020
Yay! So happy to see @DonnaHylton at @DemConvention! Strong woman fighting for #CriminalJustice! #DemConvention
— Rosie Perez (@rosieperezbklyn) August 21, 2020
One of the DNC speakers was @DonnaHylton, who, at 21, committed an unspeakably gruesome crime: over 15 days she was part of a group that kidnapped, raped, starved and tortured, then killed, a man for ransom.
Her speech & life are noble testaments to the ability to rehabilitate. pic.twitter.com/cPAcn4tkuV
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) August 21, 2020
Before receiving accolades for her work as an “impactful community leader,” Donna Hylton and her gang of prostitutes had drugged real estate broker Thomas Vigliarolo, brought him to their Harlem apartment, and subjected him to a 3 week torture sessionhttps://t.co/usBfmcFJzO
— Bennett Lachapelle (@bblachapelle) August 20, 2020
Unlike some criminals who express remorse, Hylton proclaims her innocence.
“As a 19-year-old survivor of human trafficking and sexual violence who was coerced into a horrible situation, I was powerless to stop what happened to him,” she said in a statement to Fox News. “Yet, despite being innocent I was convicted and incarcerated for 27 years. What happened to Mr. Vigliarolo should not ever happen to anyone and I have spent my life since then fighting on the side of truth and justice for myself and countless others caught in the cycle of perpetual violence and victimization.”
At her trial, however, a jury convicted her of second-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping.
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