ID: Friends and Supporters
FR: Anthony “Jalil” Bottom

RE: Parole Appeal Letter Campaign
DT: August 2, 2006

Dear Friends and Supporters:

On August 1, 2006, for the third time I had a parole board hearing at Auburn Correctional Facility. The parole hearing was conducted by Commissioners K. Ludlow, L. Lazzari and A. Croce, all of whom are Republicans appointed to their positions by Republican Governor George Pataki. Governor Pataki has in place an unwritten policy that all those convicted of violent crimes be denied parole. After Kathy Boudin was paroled at her third appearance, Governor Pataki publicly stated he would not have paroled her. He then summarily demoted the Chairman of the Div. of Parole, and replaced him with one of his Republican appointees, Mr. Robert Dennison.

In the July 20, 2006, New York Law Journal, it was reported that prior to Robert Dennison’s appointment as Chairman, he functioned as a parole commissioner. Chairman Robert Dennison is presently being sued for acting outside of his authority while he was a commissioner. The lawsuit alleges that Robert Dennison, disapproving of two other commissioners granting parole to a prisoner on a panel he was serving, soon after met the family member of the victim. He suggested to the victim’s family member that the prisoner “should die in prison,” persuading that family member to make a statement opposing the prisoner’s release on parole. Then Commissioner Dennison conducted a new parole hearing after ensuring the first was rescinded, and denied the prisoner’s release on parole. The prisoner is now suing Robert Dennison, but for this act Governor Pataki awarded Dennison the Chairman position in the Division of Parole.

In 2004, Mr. Waverly Jones, Jr., the son of one of the police officers killed in my case, met with then Chairman Dennison, providing a victim impact statement. Mr. Jones informed Chairman Dennison that he felt that I and my co-defendant had done enough time in prison, that he and his family had forgiven us for the crime, if in fact we were guilty of it, and questioned the policy of continuously hitting us at the parole board every 2 years. Subsequently, that victim impact statement was not provided to the parole commissioners conducting my 2004 parole hearing. I was summarily denied parole in 2004, for the very same reasons I was denied in 2002.

At the 2006 parole hearing, none of the three parole commissioners mentioned the victim impact statement or the many other accomplishments provided them as part of my institutional record. In fact, the commissioners were not aware that I had obtained both a BS in Psychology and a BA in Sociology from SUNY New Paltz in 1994, or that I received two commendations for preventing prison gang riots, or accomplished other vocational training. However, when I raised my concerns about the July 20, 2006, New York Law Journal report of the suit against Chairman Dennison and his failure to provide the favorable 2004 victim impact statement advocating my release on parole to the parole commissioners, the only comment was by Commissioner A. Croce, who asked how I got a copy of the transcript of the victim impact statement.

These parole denials are in direct violation of the legislative mandate in Executive Law §259i, that establishes the standard that parole commissioners are to consider for parole releases. It is obvious that the NYS parole system has become a political tool of nepotism by the Governor, where 16 commissioners are Republicans.

I am preparing my appeal of the parole denial. In this regards, I am asking for your support. Please write a protest letter to Chairman Robert Dennison, NYS Division of Parole, 97 Central Avenue, Albany, New York 12206, and demand that a FULL BOARD REVIEW be conducted of Anthony “Jalil” Bottom’s August 1, 2006 parole denial. We need as many letters as possible to be sent protesting the parole denial and Governor Pataki’s unwritten parole policy.

Thank you for your support--Anthony Jalil Bottom

To read more on the parole denial appeal, click here!