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Parole Board Stands by Boudin Release

August 22, 2003 GMT

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ A parole board will not reconsider its decision to release a 1960s radical involved in an armored car heist in which two police officers and a security guard died, despite demands by a police union.

Kathy Boudin was granted parole Wednesday after serving more than 22 years on a 20-year-to-life sentence. She will be out by Oct. 1.

The New York State Fraternal Order of Police demanded another hearing, but parole board spokesman Thomas Grant said Friday there was no legal basis to do so. Additional hearings are used to allow parole officers to consider information not available at the original hearing.

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``The blood of our police officers will be on the hands of the parole board if this decision is allowed to stand,″ said union president Frank Ferreyra.

Gov. George Pataki said he disagreed with the parole board’s decision.

Also Friday, the board released a transcript of Boudin’s parole hearing, where the former fugitive said she felt remorse over her crime and almost a sense of relief when she was arrested.

``I was horrified that I had grown up wanting to be a doctor and here I am and three people are dead, and I’m responsible for this,″ she said.

Boudin, 60, told of seeing a mother with a baby on a trip outside the Bedford Hills state prison to visit a doctor _ only her second time outside the walls in 20 years.

``And I tried to imagine what it was like the morning that (Brink’s guard) Peter Paige left and said goodbye to his wife, and then he’s just doing his job and a robbery happens and he’s killed. And that was the last conversation they had,″ Boudin said. ``And the same with (Officer) Waverly Brown and Sergeant (Edward) O’Grady.″

Boudin said she would like to meet with the families of the victims, but doesn’t expect that. She told commissioners that, while in prison, she comforted dying people and helped women with high-risk pregnancies. She was proudest of a parenting program she started.

Boudin was denied parole in 2001 and again in May. After the May hearing, parole officials told Boudin that her achievements were outweighed by the brutal nature of the crimes.

But at the latest hearing, two different commissioners praised her prison work, although one commissioner said it was difficult to weigh that against the deaths.

The daughter of the late civil rights attorney Leonard Boudin, Boudin was recruited for the 1981 Brink’s robbery by Black Liberation Army members and other radicals.

In the 1981 robbery at the Nanuet Mall, $1.6 million was stolen and a security guard was killed. The two police officers were gunned down when the truck, with Boudin in the passenger seat and fellow radical David Gilbert at the wheel, was stopped at a roadblock and some gang members burst from the back of the vehicle with automatic weapons firing.

Boudin was caught as she fled the scene.