Friday, May 5, 2017

Eligible for parole after 18 months in prison: The builder, the bishop, and a most violent crime

From Cycling Tips-

What happened next is simple to explain and impossible to understand. He was hit from behind by a car. The driver, who turned out to be a high-ranking bishop in the Episcopal church, was drunk and texting. She smashed into Palermo and left the scene — twice. Her name is Heather Cook and on that brilliant Saturday, she killed Tom Palermo.

The incident caused outrage – in the cycling community, of course, but also with the general public, which often just shrugs when riders get killed. Like a horrific crash in Kalamazoo, Michigan, last June, in which a drugged-out driver killed five cyclists on a group ride, the tragic death of Tom Palermo touched a nerve. Even people who hate cyclists wanted justice to be served.

Now, 29 months after Cook killed Palermo, the very nature of justice is again the subject of agony and debate. On May 9, Cook will be summoned to a room at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women, a facility in Jessup that houses 800 prisoners, for her first parole hearing. Cook, now 60, has served roughly 18 and a half months of the seven-year sentence a judge handed down in October 2014. She is eligible for early parole because the State of Maryland does not classify vehicular homicide as a violent crime.

More here-

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