Friday, February 22, 2013

The Parole Board Speaks: An Ustaszewski Update

The other day I wrote about Michael Ustaszewski, up for parole from the 1977 murder of Henry Cordle at the Y in downtown Toledo.  It's a murder he has spent 35 years denying he committed, denials that might or might not be true.

Actually, parole was in the works for him until members of Mr. Cordle's family and the county prosecutor objected.  The objection led to a full hearing before the Parole Board yesterday. 

Jennifer Feehan, in today's Blade, quotes Ian Engish, Assistant Lucas County Prosecutor who spoke at the hearing.
While state statistics indicate inmates convicted of aggravated murder have been paroled in the last decade after serving 25 to 27 years, Mr. English said in his mind the 35 years Ustaszewski has served isn’t enough.

“When you murder someone, you should spend your life in prison. Period,” he said. “Thirty-five years is a long time for Michael, but the victim is dead forever. He doesn’t come back and start enjoying his life, enjoying his grandchildren, hanging out with his great-grandchildren.” 
One of Mr. Cordle's grandchildren, commenting on my post, wrote
MR CORDLE WAS MY GRANFATHER AND HE DID NOT DESERVE TO DIE THAT HORRIBLE DEATH. WHETHER HE ACTUALLY STABBED HIM OR NOT, HE LEFT HIM THERE TO BLEED TO DEATH. THAT IS MURDER!!! I AM 65 YEARS OLD AND TRY TO LET GOD HANDLE THIS, BUT TODAY I AM HURTING AND AS FAR AS I AM CONCERN HE NEEDS TO STAY IN PRISON.
The Parole Board disagreed.  After the hearing, the Board granted Parole.  Feehan again.
JoEllen Smith, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, said Ustaszewski would be released from Marion Correctional Institution on April 22, assuming his plans for housing and placement are approved by then.

The board, she said, cited Ustaszewski’s “assessed low risk, appropriate programming to address his risk, positive institutional adjustment, and supportive release plan” in granting parole.
If plans for housing and placement are approved (Parole is not without strings), Ustaszewski will be released on April 22.

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