Violent Offender Parole
Whatever the human law may be, neither an individual nor a nation can commit the least act of injustice against the obscurest individual without having to pay the penalty for it.
--Henry David Thoreau
On Friday, September 2, 1994, the citizens of Massachusetts endured an injustice so staggering and undeserved it immediately became profoundly embedded in the hearts and minds of citizens throughout the state. An injustice whose beginning unmistakably originates within the Massachusetts criminal justice system itself and culminates in Kingston, Massachusetts, with the cold blooded murder of State Police Trooper Mark Charbonnier.
Trooper Charbonnier, shot in the abdomen with a .32 caliber bullet just inches below his bullet proof vest after a violent confrontation during a routine traffic stop, died on the operating room table at Beth Israel Hospital. His alleged killer, discovered shot and wounded 25 yards from Trooper Charbonnier, was David Clark.
Contrary to what may seem the obvious, the injustice being referred to here is not the murder of Trooper Charbonnier, but rather the ill-judged rationale that led to his death.
David Clark was a convicted killer. In 1984, in spite of the protests by his victim's family, Clark pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the beating death of a 43 year old man. Originally charged with murder, Clark saw his charges reduced to manslaughter in a plea-bargain with prosecutors that intended to achieve a 15-20 year sentence. Instead, Judge William H. Carey sentenced him to 10-15 years. The State of Massachusetts, in their infinite wisdom and under the guise of "prison based progress and reform," further diminished Clark's punishment by releasing Clark in 1990 after serving less than two-thirds of his sentence.
The American public refer to the ill-judged rationale that freed Clark as parole. Many regard it as...