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Bill would make life in prison mandatory for those who rape, kill person under 18

Reverse the decision or resign - that's the message Rockland County lawmakers have for the New York State Parole Board and Gov. Andrew Cuomo after granting parole to convicted killer Robert McCain, one of two men who took Paula Bohovesky's life in Pearl River in 1980.

News 12 Staff

Jul 8, 2021, 9:39 PM

Updated 1,079 days ago

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Reverse the decision or resign - that's the message Rockland County lawmakers have for the New York State Parole Board and Gov. Andrew Cuomo after granting parole to convicted killer Robert McCain, one of two men who took Paula Bohovesky's life in Pearl River in 1980.
Paula was just 16 years old when she was leaving work at the Pearl River Public Library. As she was walking home, she was brutally attacked and raped before she was killed. Robert McCain and Richard LaBarbera were behind the attack.
"Violent depraved criminals belong in prison, and anyone who rapes and murders a child should never be released," says Assemblyman Mike Lawler.
But both are. LaBarbera was granted parole in 2019, and McCain was granted his last week. He will walk free next month, and local lawmakers and law enforcement are furious.
"Think of Paula's last moments. I'm getting chills just thinking about it," says Rockland County Executive Ed Day.
The state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision tells News 12 factors considered for release include "statements by victims and their families, the individual's criminal history, institutional accomplishments, potential to successfully reintegrate into the community and perceived risk to public safety."
"If they don't rescind the decision, they should resign. If they don't resign, the governor should fire them. And if the governor doesn't do a damn thing, he should resign," says Day.
Lawmakers are now pushing a bill called Paula's Law to make life in prison mandatory for anyone who rapes and kills a person under the age of 18.
The bill though comes too late for Paula's mother, who will now be forced to watch her daughter's killer walk free next month - for a second time.
If there is no reversal, officials want McCain kept over 300 miles from Pearl River and monitored with an ankle bracelet.
Statement from NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision: The New York State Board of Parole, as the sole entity that considers and determines parole eligibility, is an independent body whose members have been confirmed by the State Senate. The Board members base their decisions on whether the standards for release are satisfied in accordance with Executive Law 259-i. Prior to making a final decision, the Board members must follow the statutory requirements which take ‎into consideration many factors, including statements made by victims and victims’ families, if any, as well as an individual’s criminal history, institutional accomplishments, potential to successfully reintegrate into the community, and perceived risk to public safety. Additionally, by statute, the Board considers any recommendations concerning release to Community Supervision from the district attorney, sentencing court and the defense attorney.


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