John MacKenzie, whose repeated parole denials focused attention on the extreme cruelty of the New York State Parole Board, died in an apparent suicide in Fishkill Correctional Facility W ednesday following his tenth parole denial after more than 40 years in prison.
PROTEST THE NYS PAROLE BOARD’S TORTURE OF JOHN MACKENZIE AND TENS OF THOUSANDS OF OTHER PAROLE APPLICANTS WHO ARE DENIED RELEASE BECAUSE OF THE ONLY THING THEY CAN NEVER CHANGE: THE NATURE OF THEIR CRIME
MONDAY, AUGUST 8, 2016
5:30 P.M. AT THE PAROLE BOARD OFFICE,
97 CENTRAL AVENUE, ALBANY
NO MORE PAROLE TORTURE!
PAROLE REFORM NOW!
IF THE RISK IS LOW, LET THEM GO!
MacKenzie was the person parole was invented for. Filled with remorse for the life he had taken, he started a victim impact program to encourage others in prison to find their place of remorse. His disciplinary record in prison was outstanding, and he had strong support on the outside to ensure that he would succeed in re-entering society. But the Parole Board, as it has done in tens of thousands of other cases, saw only the one thing John MacKenzie could never change, his crime.
Judge Maria Rosa of Dutchess County Supreme Court said about John MacKenzie, “This case begs the question, if parole isn’t granted to this petitioner, when and under what circumstances would it be granted?” She found the Parole Board in contempt for violating the court’s order to hold a new hearing for Mr. MacKenzie that correctly considered all the factors as required by law. The Parole Board then held another hearing in front of some of the same biased commissioners who had previously defied the court order. This hearing resulted in a denial. The Parole Board’s appeal of Judge Rosa’s decision was being deliberated on the day that Mr. MacKenzie apparently took his life.
In words that could have been a suicide note, John MacKenzie sent a poem he called “Death’s Trilogy” to a friend several years ago. In it were the lines,
“After forty years of torture,
Eventually hopelessness prevails.
Now time’s toll awaits its debt to the reaper.”
John MacKenzie’s death is on the hands of the Parole Board and the administrative, legislative, and judicial functionaries that allow, encourage, and condone the Board’s system of unaccountable, revenge-based torture known as parole decisions.
MONDAY AT 5:30, LET THEM KNOW THE PEOPLE OF NEW YORK STATE WILL NOT ALLOW THE PAROLE BOARD TO CONTINUE TO TRAMPLE ON THE LIVES OF THOSE UNDER ITS JURISDICTION!