Rendell seeks parole freeze after Philly cop slain
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HARRISBURG -- On the eve of a funeral for a Philadelphia policeman slain by a paroled felon, Gov. Ed Rendell yesterday temporarily halted the early release of state prison inmates and named a Temple University professor to lead a review of parole procedures.
The governor named John S. Goldkamp, chairman of the university's Criminal Justice Department and a nationally recognized expert on incarceration, to head the review of how the state Corrections Department and the Board of Probation and Parole handled the latest Philadelphia police slaying and another that occurred four months earlier.
Mr. Rendell said last week the administration was reviewing the board's decision to release 27-year-old Daniel Giddings, who fatally shot Philadelphia Officer Patrick McDonald last week. Yesterday's action widened the focus to include the fatal shooting of Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski in May, which Mr. Rendell said was committed by an offender on parole for robbery.
"We all understand it was the action of individual criminals that caused these deaths, however I need to know that we are doing everything we can to reduce the possibility of future reoccurrences," Mr. Rendell said in a letter to Mr. Goldkamp.
Mr. Rendell, a former Philadelphia mayor and district attorney, called on the state Corrections Department to stop releasing prisoners on parole until the review is complete, although it remained unclear how soon that may be.
First Published September 30, 2008 9:51 am