The sound of “Amazing Grace” played by a lone bagpiper resonated as a line of Connecticut law enforcement officers honored the family of slain police officer, Robert Holcomb, as they left a victorious parole hearing for the person responsible for his murder.
In 1977 Gerald “Gary” Castonguay was convicted of shooting Officer Holcomb to death, and in January 2015, without notice to Holcomb’s family, the Connecticut Pardon and Parole Board granted him parole beginning in July.
Not only was the family outraged at this decision, but also fellow officers and the general public who campaigned through letters, emails, and calls to oppose Castonguay’s release.
Granted a new hearing, the family was able to express their injustice and the parole was rescinded.
More information can be found at Hartford Courant about this case and it’s outcome.
Joining Shattered Lives Radio is former Connecticut State Victim Advocate and private practice attorney, Michelle S. Cruz to discuss this case, as well as the rights of victims and their families when a convict comes up for parole.
Host, Donna R. Gore, experienced a similar event when the perpetrator of her father’s 1981 murder came before the Connecticut Pardon and Parole Board. With the help of Attorney Cruz, she was able to make changes in policy for other families in a similar situation.
Donna R. Gore and Attorney Michelle Cruz appeared on syndicated radio, The Roth Show, the evening after the parole hearing to let listeners learn first hand what’s involved in this process. The show highlighted not only the Gore case, but crime victims’ rights that are often overlooked or not even known to most victims in similar circumstances.