Family and friends of slain Pennsylvania police officer Michael Crawshaw are asking state officials to enforce strictly and tighten guidelines for criminal sentencing, parole, and parole violations, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Ronald Robinson, 32, who is charged with the slayings of Crawshaw and another man Dec. 6, has a long criminal history and a record of repeatedly violating terms of his parole. “The system has failed Michael and changes must be made,” the letter reads. “We are asking you to enforce the laws in place the way they were intended and hold people accountable for their actions.
The letter notes that in the last four years, 11 law enforcement officers were killed in Pennsylvania. Suspects in some of those cases were parolees who should have remained in jail, the letter states. It argues that, “Plea agreements in exchange for short periods of probation for repeat or violent offenders are not acceptable. Returning repeat or violent offenders to the streets only results in continued criminal activity which escalates to the point where we are now.” Robinson repeatedly was caught violating the conditions of his 2007 parole. He was jailed for two weeks in July and released to a halfway house. He was wearing an electronic monitoring device at the time of the shootings. A spokeswoman for the state Board of Probation and Parole said it is uncommon to revoke parole immediately after a violation. Agents use a sliding scale of sanctions, depending on the severity of a felon’s actions. Parolees are sanctioned an average of five times before being sent back to prison.