Herman Bell has been to the New York state parole board six times and has been denied each time. His next parole board appearance will be in early February 2016. Each time, the board – always made of up former law enforcement personnel and former prosecutors — reviews his very impressive record, the Bachelor’s and Master’s college degrees he has attained since being locked up, his job offers, his numerous letters of support from family, friends, and community members from many walks of life. They have before them evidence of all the ways Herman has helped so many people throughout the course of his confinement and is still leading a positive and progressive life despite being locked up now over four decades. And then they deny him parole based on their opinion that to release him would “deprecate” the serious nature of his charge of conviction. Is this rationale not, in effect, an illegal re-sentencing to life-without-the-possibility-of parole? When one goes to trial, there is a prosecutor, one’s defense attorney, a judge, and a jury. When one goes to the parole board, there is only the prosecution.
Here’s how you can help:
Herman has taken responsibility for his part in the Black Liberation Movement’s resistance to racist authority. He has paid a great price – 42 years of imprisonment, thus far. He is going to the New York state parole board for the seventh time in February 2016 and deserves to be paroled, to come home to his family and community.
1 – Please write your letter to the parole board on professional letterhead. Your letter should be addressed to: “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Parole Commissioner”. The subject line should be “Herman Bell, 79C-0262.”
2 – Please indicate how you know Herman, or if you don’t know him personally, how you know of him.
3 – Please sign your letter and mail to Herman’s attorney:
Robert J. Boyle, 277 Broadway, Suite 1501, New York, NY 10007.
Herman very much appreciates your efforts and your support.
Message from Herman Bell Fall 2015