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Concerned Citizens Gather To Protest Woodmansee Release

Citizens gathered Friday to protest the early release of Michael Woodmansee.

A rally was held at Old Mountain Field yesterday to protest the early release of Michael Woodmansee from prison. The crowd of approximately 500 marched to Dale Carlia Corner and occupied all four corners encouraging honking horns of support from passing cars, frequently breaking into chants of “no early release.” Woodmansee, a former South Kingstown resident, admitted to killing five-year-old Jason Foreman in 1975 when he was 16 years old. He was caught after trying to strangle local paperboy Dale Sherman, who was 14 years old, in 1982.

Woodmansee was sentenced to a 40-year term after a plea bargain was reached with the agreement of Jason Foreman's family. In accordance with the laws on the books at the time he earned “good behavior” time that allowed him to shave 12 years off his original sentence. The bulk of his prison time was served in Massachusetts but the announcement that he was back in RI in order to transition toward his eventual release in August sent the . Emotions that had been long buried started to run high.

The current RI Attorney General, Peter Kilmartin, is planning a bill to change the good behavior rules currently in place. If the bill succeeds in becoming law, it will not affect the Woodmansee case.

FGH March 28, 2011 at 06:23 AM
Greg55 yes we can agree that the system is broken, that the process of legislating is actually moving us backward as a society and culture, and that too many are in prison for non-violent offenses taking up precious space that should be reserved for people who should never be let out because they pose a real threat to the safety of others. So maybe you can look at my original post, which was about the protest, and try to understand that nobody wants a person like Woodmansee in their community and people are angry that our legislative process is creating unintended consequences such as in this case. A 40 year sentence is much better than 28 years for keeping someone dangerous out of a community, so we must be asking why the laws that are currently in place are affording this individual such an early release after such a terrible crime. It must be rectified. Getting out and protesting his upcoming release, not on a Constitutional basis but on a human, practical one, lets our elected officials know when their policies are failing the electorate. Simple as that. And we as Americans need to get our voices heard more, in the spirit of freedom of speech and peaceful assembly, to ensure that our government performs in a manner that reflects our values and priorities. As it stands now this case is but one more example of government failing itself and its citizens. It's well past time we all start thinking very critically and demanding that our elected officials fix this mess.
greg55 March 28, 2011 at 08:34 AM
FGH....I think that had this artical beeb worded a little different we never would have had this debate......We both took this artical the way writen to mean different things. I took it to be saying they are protesting his release in a attempt to stop it....which is not right. I will look at this from the veiw they are protesting his release and the protest is to bring this to the attention of state officails in hope they rewrite the laws pertaining to earned good time for such offenders as Woodmansee.....possibly make it a manditory life with out parole if a murder is committed against a child under age 5...10 or what ever age they decide....like some states have for cop killers
greg55 March 28, 2011 at 08:41 AM
FGH I just want to say I respect you for taking the stand you did to defend your beliefs....that is something that a lot of Americans will not do....and that is part of the problem these days. People just don't care any more....you have very good pionts and in the end I have to say we both are pretty close in our beliefs. Been a pleasure sir.
FGH March 28, 2011 at 09:03 PM
Greg55, thanks for your final comment. To me the most important part of any debate is citing facts to support your argument. That is part of the scientific method which so many seem to have lost the art of. Unfortunately our politicians (both kinds) have mostly lost the art of not only debate, but also common sense. The inability to anticipate many of the unintended consequences of their policy decisions renders our law and policy making process a total train wreck. It permeates our society, from large corporations to federal and state government, and unfortunately, right down to individual households. People need to recapture the sense they were born with, and learn to think critically for themselves, taking into account all the conflicting information, statutory and common laws, human impacts, economic impacts, and balance all of that to elect better representatives and make better policy. Over time, our nation's leadership has created an unprecedented level of irrational laws and policies that create unnecessary and completely avoidable pain, suffering, and economic hardship through bad policy, corporate welfare, and total incompetence. At least 50% of all statutory laws could be eliminated today and we would all be better off for it. Except, that is, for people like Woodmansee who will happily take advantage of the unintended leniency that the law currently affords them. That is the real issue here if anyone cares to understand. P.S. Not a sir, but thanks!
E Gerson April 02, 2011 at 07:13 PM
Please "like" the FB page "STOP the early release of Rhode Island Cannibal" www.facebook.com/stoptheearlyreleaseofrhodeislandcannibal We are dedicated to taking concrete and legal steps to prevent this travesty and to enacting laws to begin to change our badly-broken "justice" system. "Evil flourishes when good people do nothing". Do SOMEthing- stand with us!

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