Parole EffortsHerman has been to the New York state parole board six times and has been denied six times. His next parole board appearance will be in February 2016.
Herman Bell has been to the New York state parole board six times and has been denied each time. His next parole board appearance will be in early February 2016. Each time, the board - always made of up former law enforcement personnel and former prosecutors -- reviews his very impressive record, the Bachelor's and Master's college degrees he has attained since being locked up, his job offers, his numerous letters of support from family, friends, and community members from many walks of life. They have before them evidence of all the ways Herman has helped so many people throughout the course of his confinement and is still leading a positive and progressive life despite being locked up now over four decades. And then they deny him parole based on their opinion that to release him would "deprecate" the serious nature of his charge of conviction. Is this rationale not, in effect, an illegal re-sentencing to life-without-the-possibility-of parole? When one goes to trial, there is a prosecutor, one's defense attorney, a judge, and a jury. When one goes to the parole board, there is only the prosecution.
Here's how you can help:
You can write to the NAACP, and the Congressional Black Caucus
Click here to hear Herman's message about his upcoming parole board appearance.
Click here to read the text of his message
FACTSWe collected some facts about Herman Bell and his Parole Efforts!
- When Herman Bell goes again to the NY parole board in Feb. 2016, he will have been imprisoned over 42 years.
- Herman has appeared before the NY parole board 6 times and been denied each time.
- The parole board cites the nature of Herman's charge of conviction for their denials - a fact which will never change - instead of Herman's impressive, 35+ years prison record.
- Herman has earned both his Bachelors and Masters degrees while in prison.
- Herman has earned his paralegal certificate in prison.
- Herman has devoted his time to mentoring, educating, inspiring others he's in with, encouraging them to educate themselves and learn skills so that they may live successful, recidivist-free lives when they get out.
- Herman is renowned for his football coaching skills throughout the NY state prison system.
- Herman has taught English grammar and writing skills as well as Black History, and has organized countless Black History month celebrations through the years.
- With activist farmers in Maine, Herman organized the Victory Gardens Project, where diverse urban and rural communities came together to learn to grow organic produce which they harvested and distributed, free, back into their communities.
- Herman has devoted his adult life to uplifting and protecting Black people, and to the betterment of all people in our society.
- After more than four decades of imprisonment, Herman deserves to come home!