A state bill that could unleash hundreds of locked-up murderers, rapists and other hardened felons is incensing New York City law enforcement officials who say it would undo years of crime-fighting.
The “elder parole” bill, which would grant parole eligibility to all inmates ages 55 and up who have been in prison at least 15 years, is “outrageous and idiotic,” said Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon.
The legislation would even extend to those serving life without parole, a group which includes famed criminals such as ‘90s serial killer Joel Rifkin, the Queens Wendy’s massacre mastermind John Taylor, and Bronx child rapist Clarence Moss.
The rush to let killers loose leaves the families of the victims by the wayside, said Queens Chief Assistant District Attorney John Ryan.
“The loved ones they lost are not coming back when the defendants turn 55 — they are never coming back,” Ryan told The Post.
The legislation has quietly flown under the radar since being introduced in the Assembly in February by Queens Democrat David Weprin.
The release of Weather Underground terrorist Judith Clark, paroled earlier this month after serving more than 37 years in prison, gave the bill’s backers a new talking point.
Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan), who introduced the accompanying Senate bill about a week before Clark’s release, praised her parole, saying “there are so many more Judith Clarks out there” and “we must work to fight for their freedom.”
If the legislation — which has already moved through crime committees in both the Senate and Assembly — becomes law, 900 convicts could have a chance at freedom, according to Hoylman’s office.
Taylor — who blasted seven blindfolded workers in the fast-food restaurant’s freezer, killing five, so he could rob the register of $2,400 — was the last remaining prisoner on death row before a state appeals court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional in 2007. He was resentenced to life in prison without parole, but the new proposal could undo his punishment yet again.
Rifkin is serving 203 years for killing nine women in New York City and on Long Island between 1989 and 1993. He admitted to slaying 17, mostly prostitutes, to fulfill a sick fantasy spawned from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Frenzy.” He’s currently eligible for parole in 2197.
Moss, who raped and killed his 11-year-old Bronx neighbor while he was drunk and high on cocaine in 2001, could seek the parole board’s sympathy as soon as six months after the governor signs the bill, when the legislation would go into effect.
So could Long Island Railroad massacre gunman Colin Ferguson, who killed six passengers and wounded 19 in a 1993 shooting. If not for the new bill, he would die in jail before his parole date in 2039.
At least one New York City prosecutor thinks the parole bill has merit.
“If someone has gone through the process of changing themselves . . . there should be a mechanism for them to then appear before a parole board that will fully vet them,” Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said.
Hoylman played up the potential prison cost savings that would come from releasing more inmates, saying “we are looking at billions of dollars . . . that could be used toward a lot of other worthwhile purposes,” he told The Post.
“The legislation doesn’t make parole decisions, it just allows older incarcerated New Yorkers the chance at parole,” Hoylman said.