Family members, elected officials and friends are opposing the release of two men who were convicted of the 1980 killing of 16-year-old New York honors student Paula Bohovesky.
Bohovesky was attacked and killed by Richard LaBarbera, now 66, and Robert McCain, now 56, as she was walking home from the library where she worked part-time in Pearl River.
Both LaBarbera and McCain were convicted and sentenced to 25 years to life for the murder.
Last month, a parole board voted to release LaBarbera in July. McCain had an interview with the Board of Parole the week of June 10. The Board has two weeks to make a decision about his release.
LaBarbera and McCain have spent the last 38 years in prison. The two men were denied parole seven times since they first became eligible for parole in 2005, FOX News reports.
“The parole board has lost its way,” Rockland County Executive Ed Day tells PEOPLE. “People are angry and they feel pain and betrayed.”
“They hunted her down and they caved her head in with a piece of concrete,” he says. “She was raped. It doesn’t get much more brutal than this. And we are releasing these people into the community. Put yourself in the last five minutes of her life and how helpless and scared she was. Think about Paula’s last moments in life and do the right thing.”
Day says both men have never expressed remorse for the killings.
“No genuine remorse, no public accountability has been done,” he says. “What gives them the right to breathe free air? How can you grant them freedom?”
“Neither one of them has taken responsibility and neither one of them has shown remorse,” Paula’s mother, Lois Bohovesky, told Fox News .
Over 1,200 people attended a vigil and march Saturday in the hopes that Governor Andrew Cuomo would step in. And last week, Bohovesky’s niece Abigail Bohovesky, released a video called Say Something urging the Governor to intervene.
“We are asking him to ask the parole board to revisit this decision,” says Day. “It is wrong and must be overturned.”
Cuomo, whose office did not return a call for comment, can’t overrule parole decisions, the Rockland/Westchester Journal News reports.
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In a statement to PEOPLE, Thomas Mailey, a spokesman for the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, said: “The New York State Board of Parole, as the sole entity that considers and determines parole eligibility, is an independent body whose members were confirmed by the State Senate.”
“By law, before making a final decision, the Board members must follow statutory requirements which take into consideration many factors, including statements made by victims and victims’ families, as well as an individual’s criminal history, institutional accomplishments, potential to successfully reintegrate into the community, and perceived danger to public safety,” he added.
Day says friends, family and the community don’t plan to give up.
“We are going to keep putting pressure on the Governor,” he says. “The parole board needs to be totally revamped. This is not justice. They are supposed to be a purveyor of justice and this has become a perversion of justice.”
“She loved art, and was a good kid, just a sweetheart,” he says about Bohovesky.