Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell has ordered a review of the circumstances leading to the parole of Daniel Giddings, the convicted violent criminal who gunned down Philadelphia police officer Patrick McDonald a few weeks after being released from prison, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. “We are looking at it to see if it was a bad judgment call,” Rendell said.
Giddings, 27, was released after serving 10 years of a 6- to 12-year sentence for robbery and aggravated assault. District Attorney Lynne Abraham blamed retired Common Pleas Court Judge Lynn Hamlin, who sentenced Giddings to the minimum mandatory sentence in 2000, despite a prosecutor’s plea that Giddings had amassed an appalling juvenile record and seemed likely to reoffend. Officials scrambled to explain how someone who was first charged with a violent crime at age 10 was able to move in and out of institutions most of his life, and was ultimately granted parole. Catherine McVey, chairwoman of the state parole board, said Giddings “had undergone extensive counseling and academic instruction” in prison after 2006.