Friend Stands With Crime Victims Calling For The Passage Of Ramona’s Law

May 21, 2019

Assemblyman Christopher Friend (R,C,I,Ref-Big Flats) is calling for the passage of Ramona’s Law (A.6663), legislation which would extend the maximum time allowed between parole hearings from two years to five for those who committed significantly violent and abhorrent crimes. The bill is named after Ramona Bentle-Fahy, a woman who was beaten, sexually assaulted and kidnapped in 1992. Today, Ms. Bentle-Fahy joined Friend and his Assembly Minority colleagues calling for this important reform for crime victims.

“There are victims in our state who have endured great suffering at the hands of violent criminals and some of them have to relive their trauma every two years when the individual who violated them is up for parole,” said Friend. “These victims have to muster up the courage to face their attacker and reopen emotional wounds to testify against these criminals over and over during the parole process. Extending the time between parole hearings up to five years helps victims giving them the time to heal and help keep our communities safe.”

Currently, New York allows hearings to occur at the discretion of a parole board with the maximum between hearings being two years. The Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice has reported that 25 others states allow for up to five years between parole hearings. Ramona’s Law would apply to criminals who have committed Class A-I and Class A-II felonies and Class B violent felonies, including:

  • Murder in the first degree;
  • Aggravated murder;
  • Murder in the second degree;
  • Rape in the first degree;
  • Sodomy in the first degree; and
  • Predatory sexual assault against a child.