A convicted murderer who spent half a century in prison, Many of them expressed repentance and on Monday a state parole board reduced his conviction from first-degree murder to second-degree murder for killing two security guards in a botched robbery in Dorchester. We were one step closer to freedom when we unanimously agreed to recommend a reduction to . shop.
Ultimately, Ramadan Shabazz, 72, may be eligible for parole after spending 51 years in prison after a 5-0 favorable decision by the Pardons Advisory Board, served by the parole board.
A Vietnam War veteran who earned two college degrees while in prison, Shabazz has participated in 54 programs, mentored other inmates, and served as the commission’s 25-page report and recommendations. , “made extraordinary progress in rehabilitation and self-development”.
Since being convicted of murder in the summer of 1971, Shabazz (real name James Hall) has also changed his name and religion.
Shabazz was born in South Carolina. His family moved to Boston when he was nine years old. He graduated from Jamaica Plain High and was drafted into the Army at the height of the Vietnam War.
Shabazz came home with post-traumatic stress disorder and a severe heroin addiction.
Shabazz told authorities he remembered little of the Freedom Food supermarket robbery on August 14, 1971. Report.
Shabazz and another man, Raymond White, shot two security guards that day. I transferred the money from the trunk of the car to the store. Jailers Harry T. Jeffries and Calvin Thorne died in hospital.
When police tracked Shabazz down to a nearby apartment, he was wounded and bleeding profusely. I found my bag.
Shabazz told police he agreed to participate in the robbery to pay off a debt he owed to drug dealers.
A jury, after only three hours of deliberation, found Shabazz guilty and sentenced to death. The Supreme Court reversed his death sentence in 1976, Sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.
“He’s now an old man who has spent half a century making himself a better person and making the world a better place,” Mia Teitelbaum, Shabazz’s attorney, told the parole board.
Shabazz said he thinks of the victims every day and feels deep remorse.
“He said he was dedicated to giving back what he could after removing these two members from the community,” the board report said.
In its favorable recommendation, the Commission said, “Members of the Commission should consider the role that Mr. Shabazz’s post-traumatic stress disorder and drug addiction (which developed while on duty in Vietnam) played in these crimes. I admit it,” he wrote.
A recommendation to remove the Commission is now in the hands of Gov. Charlie Baker. If Baker agrees, the matter will be referred to the Governor’s Council, which has the final say. If the governor’s council approves, the parole board will have to decide whether to actually release Shabazz on parole.
Massachusetts governor reluctant to grant amnesty for crimes that have been a sensitive topic in state politics since convicted murderer Willie Horton raped a woman outside prison during a weekend break in 1987 famous for being snobbish. .
But Baker this year, after issuing new presidential pardon guidelines in 2020, proposed commuting the sentences of two long-term prisoners, recommended full pardons for four others convicted of crimes, and Shabazz. recently raised hopes among supporters that the governor would also consider pardoning him.
Materials from the Globe Archive were used in this report.
Tonya Alanez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. follow her on her twitter @Taranes.