Crime victims call for changes to New York parole law

Jenna Glatzer was just 10 years old when she was kidnapped and raped by Scott Carroll, a sexual predator who terrorized Long Island communities and later became known as the South Shore Rapist.

"I can tell you that it obliterated my sense of safety and trust," Glatzer said. 

Carroll was ultimately sentenced to 650 years but died last month behind bars after serving 33 years. But if he were still alive, it is unlikely he would have served more than 50 years because of a state ceiling on consecutive sentences, experts said.

Laura Ahearn is advocating on behalf of victims of violent crimes and surviving family members to ensure they're heard from before more reforms are made.

"The parole board should have an option to extend the time that an incarcerated person comes back to the board before a person can be released," Ahearn said. 

Under current law, once prisoners are eligible for parole, they're permitted to come before the parole board every two years. But leaders and survivors are pushing for violent offenders who are denied parole the first time to then reappear after four or five years.

Kelly Anne Tinyes was brutally murdered in 1989. The convicted killer is scheduled to appear before the board in another bid to be released this week. 

"Now I have to think about him getting out and doing this to someone else," said Richard Tinyes, Kelly Anne's brother. 

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But not everyone agrees. Khalil Cumberbatch of New Yorkers United for Justice argues that criminal justice reform doesn't lead to a spike in crime.

"There's no data or evidence that if the number is moved from two years to four or five years that somehow it'll help the individual become better rehabilitated or speaks to the needs of what victims of crimes actually need," Cumberbatch said. 

Ahearn said she is working to make sure victims and advocates are involved in the process unlike what she said happened with bail reform.

"This time we're in front of it," she said. 

The new legislation is still being drafted by a local senator. The hope is to officially announce it in the coming weeks and then move towards the passage when the session opens in January.

This story has been updated to correct Kelly Anne Tinyes name.