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New lawmaker calls NJ Legislature’s 11th-hour parole breaks ‘outrage’

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

ONLY ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT : First-year Assemblyman Bob Schroeder called it an “outrage” that his lame-duck predecessors this week approved an “11th-hour” measure that makes inmates eligible for a parole hearing every three years, no matter the crime.


“Why are we passing legislation that caters to convicted murderers, pedophiles and other dangerous criminals at the expense of their victims?” Schroeder told CLIFFVIEW PILOT , hours after being sworn into office.


Kim Montelaro (courtesy of her family)

“Not only would such frequent, across-the-board parole reviews place an enormous burden on an already overwhelmed parole system,” he told the web site Tuesday night. “It also forces victims and their families to be re-victimized, over and over again, on a regular basis.”

“No one should ever have to go through that kind of suffering,” Schroeder added. “But if this bill becomes a law, that’s exactly what’s going to happen to thousands of victims and their families across the State of New Jersey.”

Gov. Jon Corzine hasn’t said whether he would sign the bill, veto it or leave it for his successor, Gov.-Elect Christopher Christie.

However, Rosemarie D’Alessandro, who thought her daughter’s killer would die behind bars, told CLIFFVIEW PILOT earlier on Tuesday that she’d be calling Corzine first thing Wednesday. (See: SHOCKER: Bills quietly OK’d by NJ lawmakers would parole killers sooner )

Schroeder, meanwhile, cited the case of Kim Montelaro, whose killer, Christopher Righetti, “has shown no remorse for his crime.” (See background stories, below.)

Last fall, Montelaro’s elderly parents and her brother came up from Florida to Trenton to address the Parole Board. They were supported by members of a grass-roots group known as KeepBergenSafe.com, organized by Schroeder, then a Washington Township councilman.

The group brought the board nearly 1,100 e-mailed and handwritten letters it had gathered opposing parole for Righetti, who raped and murdered Kim Montelaro 34 years ago.

Yet, although the board denied Righetti parole, the Montelaro family “will once again be made to relive the details of her brutal death, even though her murderer was given a life sentence,” if Corzine or Christie signs the measure, Schroeder told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

Schroeder with the Montelaro family at last fall’s parole hearing


It was August 1976 when Righetti — then 16 — abducted the 20-year-old honor student from the parking lot of the Paramus Park Mall and took her to a wooded area, where he raped her and stabbed her six times in the chest.

“I saw first-hand what the parole process did to her parents, Tony & Alice Montelaro, and to her brother, Paul,” Schroeder told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . “I saw the agony in Alice’s eyes as she talked about what happened to her beautiful daughter.

“These people have suffered the worst pain any parent can ever experience, and every time they have to address the parole board, it takes so much out of them.

“Now that I’m officially a member of the 214th Legislature, I’m going to fight this ill-advised measure with every avenue that is available to me, and continue to stand up for the rights of victims and their families,” Schroeder added.

THE MONTELARO CASE:

Parole DENIED for honor student’s killer
A gift for Kim Montelaro
Parole hearings for slain woman’s killer: Enough already
Family, supporters take fight to Trenton
Movement grows to block killer’s parole
Father of slain girl wants killer kept behind bars

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