Ashby Calling For Passage Of Ramona’s Law

Assemblyman Jake Ashby (R,C,I,Ref-Castleton) is calling for the passage of Ramona’s Law (A.6663) this legislative session. The bill, if enacted, would extend the maximum time in which parole boards must schedule a parole hearing after an individual incarcerated for certain violent felonies from two years to five. The bill is called Ramona’s Law for a woman who was beaten, raped and kidnapped in 1992. Ramona Bentle-Fahy joined the legislators today in Albany to call for the legislation’s passage.

“In essence, New York is forcing victims to relive the trauma every two years when parole hearings are scheduled,” said Ashby. “New York extending this time from two to up to five years will only help survivors heal and protect our communities from the most violent of criminals and will require perpetrators to further demonstrate the necessary attributes for release.”

Victims of these violent crimes are faced with the hard choice of reliving trauma and testifying against the perpetrator of the crime to ensure they remain in prison. According to the Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, 25 states allow five-year scheduling between parole hearings of those who have been denied release.

Current penal law requires those denied parole are entitled to another hearing within two years. Ashby and his Assembly Minority colleagues believe that in cases of violent criminals, this time period must be extended. Ramona’s Law would apply to the following Class A-I and 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.