Editorial: Should life sentences be abolished?

A 77-year-old who killed a cop 43 years ago will be released on parole


By Walt Zlotow
Chicago Sun-Times

CHICAGO — Forget the death penalty, which is nearly a dead letter already.

The impending parole of 77-year-old Henry Michael Gargano after 43 years in federal prison for murdering Northlake policemen John Nagel and Anthony Sperri should spur a serious examination of the need to abolish life sentences. The U.S. Parole Commission has set Gargano's release for Sept. 3, citing his model behavior over the past 10 years, advanced age, poor health and little likelihood of engaging in criminal behavior. Opponents of Gargano's release include Officer Nagle's son, the deputy Northlake police chief and 6,000 supporters who signed petitions.

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