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Kid killer gets parole w/o civil confinement

Posted: 6:55 PM, May 27, 2016
Updated: 2016-05-27 23:01:13Z

Thomas Kennedy, 50, has now been granted parole without civil confinement from the Clinton Correctional Facility after serving over 27 years for the murder and sexual assault of Melody Wilson in August 1987.

The 9-year-old child's body was found hidden in tall weeds in what was then called "Squaw Island." (It has since been renamed "Unity Island.")

Kennedy was 21-years-old at the time of the killing.  During his trial, it was revealed that he had killed Wilson when she cried out after being raped and sodomized.  The child's body was found with multiple stab wounds and her throat cut.

Defense attorneys' argued for an insanity defense but Kennedy was found liable for his actions and sentenced to 25-years to life in jail.

Erie County Prosecutors have now been notified that Kennedy has been granted parole without civil confinement.  Kennedy was also registered as a Level-3 Sex Offender - those with the highest probability of committing a repeat offense.

It was an announcement that caught the Erie County District Attorney's Office by surprise because it would have been opposed if the office had known Kennedy's release was imminent.

Acting District Attorney Michael Flaherty issued the following statement:

“The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, commonly known as the Parole Board, is the sole and exclusive arbiter of when a prisoner is eligible to be released into the community. Often times, the board will let us know if a decision is imminent, but I am not aware of any notice in this case. I work closely with the Buffalo office of the Parole Board and the officers are extraordinarily diligent at monitoring offenders. I am confident that they will make every effort to ensure the safety of the community.”

 

There was no comment from the NYS Attorney General's Office or the NYS Office of Mental Health.

 

However, the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision issued the following statement along with the restrictions that will be part of Thomas Kennedy's lifelong parole:

 

Statement from DOCCS Spokesperson Thomas Mailey: The Board of Parole does not have authority to commit someone to civil confinement.  The Board of Parole is the sole entity that considers paroleeligibility. The Board is an independent body that adheres to statutory requirements that take into consideration a number of factors prior to making any final determination.  Like many other states, the Board must consider more than an inmate's crime of conviction, including statements made by victims and victim’s families if submitted, consider an inmate’s criminal history, institutional accomplishments, potential to successfully transition back into the community, and perceived danger to public safety.
 
On Background: Here are Thomas Kennedy’s conditions of release from the Board of Parole:
 
CONDITIONS OF RELEASE:                                                 
    I WILL SEEK,OBTAIN,AND MAINTAIN EMPLOYMENT AND/OR AN ACADEMIC/      
 VOCATIONAL PROGRAM.                                                    
    I WILL SUBMIT TO REDACTED AS DIRECTED BY THE P.O.    
    I WILL PARTICIPATE IN A SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT PROGRAM AS        
 DIRECTED BY THE P.O.                                                   
    I WILL NOT CONSUME ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES.                             
    I WILL NOT FREQUENT ANY ESTABLISHMENT WHERE ALCOHOL IS SOLD OR      
 SERVED AS ITS MAIN BUSINESS WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF THE P.O.         
    I WILL ABIDE BY A CURFEW ESTABLISHED BY THE P.O.                    
    I WILL PARTICIPATE IN ANTI-AGGRESSION/ANTI-VIOLENCE COUNSELING AS   
 DIRECTED BY THE P.O.                                                   
    I WILL NOT ASSOCIATE IN ANY WAY OR COMMUNICATE BY ANY MEANS WITH    
(OTHER) REDACTED  WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF THE P.O.    
   OTHER - GEOGRAPHIC RESTRICTIONS PER P.O.                            
   I WILL ABIDE BY THE MANDATORY CONDITION IMPOSED BY THE SEXUAL       
ASSAULT REFORM ACT, CHAPTER 1 OF THE LAWS OF 2000 ("SARA").            
   I WILL NOT USE OR POSSESS ANY MEDICATIONS OR SUPPLEMENTS DESIGNED   
OR INTENDED FOR THE PURPOSE OF ENHANCING SEXUAL PERFORMANCE OR         
TREATING ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION WITHOUT THE WRITTEN PERMISSION OF MY     
PAROLE OFFICER AND THE APPROVAL OF HIS OR HER AREA SUPERVISOR.         
   I WILL PARTICIPATE IN THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND COMMUNITY   
SUPERVISION'S POLYGRAPH PROGRAM AS DIRECTED BY MY PAROLE OFFICER. I    
UNDERSTAND THAT THIS WILL INCLUDE PERIODIC POLYGRAPH SESSIONS          
CONSISTING OF A PRE-EXAMINATION INTERVIEW, POLYGRAPH EXAMINATION, AND  
POST-TEST INTERVIEW WITH THE POLYGRAPH EXAMINER OR MY PAROLE OFFICER.  
   I WILL NOT USE THE INTERNET TO ACCESS PORNOGRAPHIC MATERIAL,     
ACCESS A COMMERCIAL SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITE, COMMUNICATE WITH OTHE
INDIVIDUALS OR GROUPS FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROMOTING SEXUAL RELATIONS 
WITH PERSONS UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN, AND COMMUNICATE WITH A PERSO
UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN UNLESS I RECEIVE WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM  
THE BOARD OF PAROLE TO USE THE INTERNET TO COMMUNICATE WITH A MINOR 
CHILD UNDER EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE WHO I AM THE PARENT OF AND WHO I A
NOT OTHERWISE PROHIBITED FROM COMMUNICATING WITH.                   
   YOU SHALL NOT BE RELEASED UNTIL THE BOARD OF PAROLE AND DEPARTMEN
OF CORRECTIONS AND COMMUNITY SUPERVISION ARE INFORMED OF THE SEX    
OFFENDER RISK LEVEL THAT HAS BEEN OR WILL BE ESTABLISHED BY A COURT 
OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION PURSUANT TO CORRECTION LAW 168-N.         
   I WILL NOT OWN, USE, POSSESS, PURCHASE OR HAVE CONTROL OF ANY    
     COMPUTER, COMPUTER RELATED MATERIAL, ELECTRONIC STORAGE DEVICES,      
  COMMUNICATION DEVICES AND/OR THE INTERNET UNLESS I OBTAIN PRIOR       
  WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM MY PAROLEOFFICER. FURTHERMORE, IF APPROVED:  
        IF I AM PERMITTED BY MY PAROLEOFFICER TO POSSESS A COMPUTER AT 
  MY RESIDENCE, PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR ONLY ONE COMPUTER.       
        I WILL PROVIDE ALL PERSONAL, BUSINESS, PHONE, INTERNET SERVICE  
  PROVIDER, AND/OR CABLE RECORDS TO MY PAROLE OFFICER UPON REQUEST.     
        I WILL PROVIDE COPIES OF FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS TO MY PAROLE       
  OFFICER UPON REQUEST. THESE DOCUMENTS MAY INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT        
  LIMITED TO, ALL CREDIT CARD BILLS, BANK STATEMENTS, AND INCOME TAX    
  RETURNS.                                                              
        I WILL PROVIDE ALL USER IDS AND PASSWORDS REQUIRED TO ACCESS    
  THE COMPUTER, MY C.M.O.S. AND BIOS, INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER,        
  ANY/ALL EMAIL ACCOUNTS, INSTANT MESSAGING ACCOUNTS, ANY REMOVABLE      
  ELECTRONIC MEDIA, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO MEDIA SUCH AS SMART     
  CARDS, CELL PHONES, THUMB DRIVES AND WEB VIRTUAL STORAGE.              
        I WILL PROVIDE MY PAROLE OFFICER WITH MY PASSWORD AND USER ID    
  FOR ANY APPROVED DEVICE.                                               
        I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE ACCESS TO MY COMPUTER    
  SYSTEM AND/OR OTHER COMMUNICATION OR ELECTRONIC STORAGE DEVICES WILL   
  ALSO BE SUBJECT TO MONITORING AND/OR SEARCH AND SEIZURE. I AGREE TO    
  BE FULLY RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL MATERIAL, DATA, IMAGES AND INFORMATION    
  FOUND ON MY COMPUTER AND/OR OTHER COMMUNICATION OR ELECTRONIC STORAGE  
  DEVICES AT ALL TIMES.                                                  
                                                                         
        I WILL NOT CREATE OR ASSIST DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY IN THE  
        CREATION OF ANY ELECTRONIC BULLETIN BOARD SYSTEM, SERVICES THAT    
  PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE INTERNET, OR ANY PUBLIC OR PRIVATE COMPUTER  
  NETWORK WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN APPROVAL FROM MY PAROLE OFFICER.     
        I WILL NOT USE ANY FORM OF ENCRYPTION, CRYPTOGRAPHY,         
  STEGANOGRAPHY, COMPRESSION AND/OR OTHER METHOD THAT MIGHT LIMIT    
  ACCESS TO, OR CHANGE THE APPEARANCE OF, DATA AND/OR IMAGES WITHOUT 
  PRIOR WRITTEN APPROVAL FROM MY PAROLEOFFICER.                     
                                                                     
        I WILL NOT ATTEMPT TO CIRCUMVENT, ALTER, INHIBIT, OR PREVENT 
  THE FUNCTIONING OF ANY MONITORING OR LIMITING EQUIPMENT, DEVICE OR 
  SOFTWARE THAT HAS BEEN INSTALLED BY OR AT THE BEHEST OF, OR IS BEIN
  UTILIZED BY, THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND COMMUNITY SUPERVISIO
  FOR THE PURPOSES OF RECORDING, MONITORING OR LIMITING MY COMPUTER  
OR INTERNET USE AND ACCESS, NOR WILL I TAMPER WITH SUCH EQUIPMENT,  
 DEVICE OR SOFTWARE IN ANY WAY.                                      
                                                                     
       I WILL COOPERATE WITH UNANNOUNCED EXAMINATIONS DIRECTED BY MY 
 PAROLE OFFICER OF ANY AND ALL COMPUTER(S) AND/OR OTHER ELECTRONIC   
 DEVICE(S) TO WHICH I HAVE ACCESS. THIS INCLUDES ACCESS TO ALL DATA  
 AND/OR IMAGES STORED ON HARD DISK DRIVES, FLOPPY DISKETTES, CD ROMS,
OPTICAL DISKS, MAGNETIC TAPE, CELL PHONES, AND/OR ANY OTHER STORAGE 
 MEDIA WHETHER INSTALLED WITHIN A DEVICE OR REMOVABLE.               
       I WILL INSTALL OR ALLOW TO BE INSTALLED, AT MY OWN EXPENSE,   
 EQUIPMENT AND/OR SOFTWARE TO MONITOR OR LIMIT COMPUTER USE.   
      I WILL PROPOSE A RESIDENCE TO BE INVESTIGATED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF 
 CORRECTIONS AND COMMUNITY SUPERVISION AND WILL ASSIST THE DEPARTMENT  
 IN ANY EFFORTS IT MAY MAKE ON MY BEHALF TO DEVELOP A RESIDENCE.       
    IF I AM DEEMED A LEVEL 3 RISK PURSUANT TO ARTICLE 6-C OF THE       
 CORRECTION LAW - OR - I AM SERVING ONE OR MORE SENTENCES FOR          
 COMMITTING OR ATTEMPTING TO COMMIT ONE OR MORE OFFENSE(S) UNDER       
 ARTICLES 130, 135 OR 263 OF THE PENAL LAW OR SECTIONS 255.25, 255.26  
 OR 255.27 OF THE PENAL LAW AND THE VICTIM OF SUCH OFFENSE(S) WAS      
 UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE AT THE TIME OF THE OFFENSE(S), AND AS SUCH I    
 MUST COMPLY WITH SECTION 259-C(14) OF THE EXECUTIVE LAW, I WILL NOT   
 BE RELEASED UNTIL A RESIDENCE IS DEVELOPED AND IT IS VERIFIED THAT    
 SUCH ADDRESS IS LOCATED OUTSIDE THE PENAL LAW DEFINITION OF SCHOOL    
 GROUNDS AND IS APPROVED BY THE DEPARTMENT.         
     IN PERTINENT PART, EXECUTIVE LAW SECTION 259-C(14) PROVIDES:        
  "THE BOARD SHALL REQUIRE, AS A MANDATORY CONDITION OF SUCH RELEASE,    
  THAT SUCH SENTENCED OFFENDER SHALL REFRAIN FROM KNOWINGLY ENTERING     
  INTO OR UPON ANY SCHOOL GROUNDS, AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN            
  SUBDIVISION FOURTEEN OF SECTION 220.00 OF THE PENAL LAW, OR ANY OTHER  
  FACILITY OR INSTITUTION PRIMARILY USED FOR THE CARE OR TREATMENT OF    
  PERSONS UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN WHILE ONE OR MORE OF SUCH PERSONS    
  UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN ARE PRESENT,..."                             
     PENAL LAW SECTION 220.00(14)                                        
     "SCHOOL GROUNDS" MEANS (A) IN OR ON OR WITHIN ANY BUILDING,         
  STRUCTURE, ATHLETIC PLAYING FIELD, PLAYGROUND OR LAND CONTAINED        
  WITHIN THE REAL PROPERTY BOUNDARY LINE OF A PUBLIC OR PRIVATE          
  ELEMENTARY, PAROCHIAL, INTERMEDIATE, JUNIOR HIGH, VOCATIONAL, OR HIGH
SCHOOL, OR (B) ANY AREA ACCESSIBLE TO THE PUBLIC LOCATED WITHIN ONE  
THOUSAND FEET OF THE REAL PROPERTY BOUNDARY LINE COMPRISING ANY SUCH 
SCHOOL OR ANY PARKED AUTOMOBILE OR OTHER PARKED VEHICLE LOCATED      
WITHIN ONE THOUSAND FEET OF THE REAL PROPERTY BOUNDARY LINE          
COMPRISING ANY SUCH SCHOOL. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION AN "AREA
ACCESSIBLE TO THE PUBLIC" SHALL MEAN SIDEWALKS, STREETS, PARKING     
LOTS, PARKS, PLAYGROUNDS, STORES AND RESTAURANTS.