Responding to mounting criticism of the judicial system after a paroled felon killed a Philadelphia police officer, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell has ordered a halt to the release of parolees until an independent expert does “a top-to-bottom review” of how the state releases violent offenders, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. The assessment will be conducted by John S. Goldkamp, chairman of the Temple University Department of Criminal Justice. The system each month paroles about 1,000 inmates out of a prison population of about 47,000.
The funeral will be today of officer Patrick McDonald, 30, who was killed last Tuesday by Daniel Giddings, a recently paroled violent criminal. In May, Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski was gunned down after he intercepted three men – all parolees with histories of violent crime – who had just robbed a bank. “Heartbreaking losses such as these have shed light on the need to thoroughly review the process by which Pennsylvania paroles violent offenders,” Rendell told Goldkamp. “Therefore, I am asking you to review the way in which these two cases were managed by the Department of Corrections and the Board of Probation and Parole in order to minimize the likelihood that these kinds of scenarios will be repeated.”