Friday, January 2, 2009

New York: Backlash

Gov. David Paterson (D) is starting to receive some criticism now for his commutation of the sentence of 43-year old Joanne Carroll. Carroll plead guilty to first-degree robbery in 2001 and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. The incident hs been described as follows:
Witnesses described an armed Carroll, then 34, and her boyfriend, Xavier Valentine, also armed, barging into a Norwich drug dealer's house, demanding money and drugs, and leaving the 20-year-old man dead on the floor, a hole in his chest from a shotgun blast. "Joanne put the gun in my face and told me to get down," said witness Misty Graef, in later trial testimony. Graef was the 18-year-old friend of Edward Pastore Jr., who sold marijuana out of a house on Lewis Road and died there of a shotgun wound to the chest. Pastore allegedly owed Valentine $15,000. The mayhem continued that night on Lewis Road, witnesses said. Graef described hearing Pastore being beaten and his hands duct-taped together. Valentine then ordered Pastore to open a safe, before he shot Pastore, Graef testified.
A murder was also committed during the incident and Carroll has at lest six and a half years remaining on the sentence. Her daughter organized a letter-writing campaign that included family members, the judge in her case, and a state trooper involved in the investigation. See story here and here and here and here.

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