Friday, October 21, 2011

Compassionate Parole Denied For "Onion Field" Cop Killer

Back when I was a young criminal justice student, I read all of Joseph Wambaugh's books and absolutely loved them. One of the best was Wambaugh's book The Onion Field which was one of Wambaugh's few non-fiction books. The book chronicles an incident in 1963 where two Los Angeles Police officers were kidnapped by two criminals, driven to an onion field where one of the officers, Ian Campbell was executed and the other, Karl Hettinger managed to escape the same fate as his partner.

There's a story over at The Los Angeles Times where they note that the lone remaining cop killer who is now 78 and dying of cancer was denied release on a compassionate parole.
But during an hourlong hearing in the state capital, no one spoke on Powell's behalf. 
In fact, authorities asserted, he prefers to die in prison. Members of the victim's family and the law enforcement community told commissioners that was just fine with them. 
"The only way Gregory Powell should leave prison is in a body bag," said Pat Corral, a niece of Ian Campbell, the slain officer. 
Scott Rate, a director of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, said Powell's life sentence "is not a sentence of 'imprisonment until a terminal illness develops.' It should be expected that he spend his last waking moments deprived of freedom."
 It's awful hard to extend compassion to someone who showed no compassion to Officer Ian Campbell or Officer Karl Hettinger.

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