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New Law Would Give Crime Victims A Greater Voice With Parole Board

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Kathleen Kane speaks at a news conference (credit: Brad Segall)

Kathleen Kane speaks at a news conference (credit: Brad Segall)

Brad Segall Brad Segall
Brad Segall is the award-winning Suburban Bureau chief at KYW...
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By Brad Segall

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) - A Montgomery County lawmaker is the driving force behind legislation that would give crime victims in Pennsylvania a greater voice when it comes to the Parole Board’s decision to release an inmate.

Crime victims can only submit their testimony in writing to the Board of Probation and Parole unless the board agrees to meet with them. State Rep. Mike Vereb’s bill would take that decision away from the board and allow a victim or family member to go face to face with them if they want to.

Pennsylvania attorney general Kathleen Kane supports the legislation.

“We wake up every morning with the mantra of justice for all and justice has no expiration date,” Kane said. “What this bill does is it shows that the weight of a victim’s testimony is heavy.”

The bill was inspired by Ellen Robb, the Upper Merion woman who was brutally beaten to death by her husband, former Penn professor Rafael Robb. He was scheduled to be paroled in late January but that decision was reversed after Vereb intervened and the family had an opportunity to speak to the board.

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