Controversial Parole of Kathy Boudin

This is a partial transcript of The Big Story With John Gibson, August 21, 2003, that has been edited for clarity. Click here to order the complete transcript.

JOHN GIBSON, HOST: It was autumn of 1981. Members of the radical Weather Underground (search) opened fire on a Brinks armored truck in upstate New York.

Two cops and a Brinks guards were killed, and Kathy Boudin (search) was at the wheel of the getaway car. She was sentenced to serve 20 years to life in prison and was granted parole just yesterday.

Joining me now is Detective Robert Van Cura of the South Nyack-Grand View Police Department (search). Detective, that is today's big question. Should Kathy Boudin be granted parole?

DET. ROBERT VANCURA, SOUTH NYACK-GRAND VIEW P.D.: In my opinion, no. She served just barely the minimum of a 20-year-to-life sentence for a crime that her husband and others were convicted of and sentenced to 75-years-to-life.

GIBSON: Now this woman in prison has been the model prisoner, right?

VAN CURA: So they say. But, again, she is incarcerated.

GIBSON: She got her master's degree, she is working with prisoners with AIDS, she is working kind of as a social service person in there. At least the last few years, her public statements have been contrite. She says she's sorry she did what she did, feels terrible, knows she can't take it back, all of that. So, why still the resistance to her parole?

VAN CURA: Well, she certainly never expressed that to the families of the victims, the two police officers and the Brinks guard that were killed that day. And I think that she was given a sentence that probably wasn't the right sentence at the time, but she had [her trial] stretched out…

her [defense] had really kind of wore down the criminal justice system to the point where after the county spent $6 million on security for the other trials, several changes of venue and a motion for another one to New York City… [prosecutors] wanted to get the sure thing so they took the 20-years-to-life. And really she deserved what her husband and the other people got, which was 75-to-life.

GIBSON: And those others are still incarcerated?

VAN CURA: That's correct.

GIBSON: Now she just had a parole hearing three months ago.

VAN CURA: And that's really what shocked and devastated the families of the victims, of the police officers and the Brinks guard. Ninety days or less than 90 days ago, the parole board had a rehearing on her parole hearing from two years ago where they denied her parole with a very strong statement, saying that regardless of the fact that she may have done good things while in prison, that the seriousness of the crimes to which she pled guilty far outweighed that, and that to release her at this point so early in her sentence would undermine the credibility of the criminal justice system…

And I think that's particularly hard on [the families].

GIBSON: Detective Robert Van Cura of the South Nyack-Grand View Police Department. Detective, thank you very much.

And by the way, it is still possible for someone on the parole board to ask for what's called a rescission hearing to consider additional information and possibly reverse the parole order.

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