State Senate passes new law that aims to keep violent criminals behind bars

Robery Blainey

The State Senate passed legislation today that requires certain violent felons to serve their maximum prison term, regardless of their behavior while in prison, if they pose an imminent threat to society.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Joseph Griffo, of Rome, who noted the case of repeat rapist and murderer Robert Blainey.

Blainey was sentenced to life in prison last April after being convicted of the brutal rape and murder of 68-year-old Linda Turner, owner of the Davis Motel in Oneida County. The judge called Blainey "the most cold blooded person Iâ??ve ever had in my courtroom in 20 years." Blainey responded, saying, "I take that as a compliment."

Blainey reportedly told the parole board before the release that ended in Turnerâ??s murder that â??Society is safer with me in prison.â??

â??The rapist and murderer, Robert Blainey, made his evil mark in Central New York for which he will always be remembered,â?? said Senator Griffo. â??But even before Blainey, it was clear that the system was flawed and had the potential for tragedy. I vowed that I would do everything in my power to advocate and pass the measures necessary to protect people of Oneida County and not let New York families, already victimized once by predators, to be victimized a second time by that system. Today in the Senate, we moved to show that no community anywhere in this state should have to endure the kind of fear that gripped Oneida County because of gaping holes in existing policies.â??

Blainey only served two-thirds of his 1989 sentence before he was issued parole based on good behavior. The parole board said they had no choice but to release Blainey at that time, even though they believed he was a danger to society.

The new legislation allows the parole board to keep a violent offender behind bars while they find convincing evidence that the inmate poses an imminent threat to society.