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Releasing a Black "Liberationist" Murderer By: James Woods
New York Post | Monday, January 19, 2004


EDITOR'S NOTE: In the 1985 made-for-TV movie "Badge of the Assassin," James Woods played Assistant DA Robert K. Tannenbaum, lead prosecutor in the case against Herman Bell and his accomplices. Here, he offers his thoughts on Bell's possible parole.

HERMAN Bell's release from his lifetime sentence for the cowardly murders of two fine police officers, Waverly Jones and Joseph Piagentinim would be an atrocity.

I was riveted by this case, both as a young citizen of New York when it happened, and later as an artist recreating these shameful events in the TV movie "Badge of the Assassin." My impressions never wavered one bit from the moment I heard the dreadful news of these ambush assassinations to this day of equal infamy when dark forces are working to release the coward killers from prison.

Those impressions are as follows: Three thugs decided to kill two dedicated young family men who devoted their lives to protecting others.

The thugs masked their sociopathic urge to destroy all that is good under the guise of racial "liberation" for fellow black Americans. The reality is that much racial equality has since been achieved through the miraculous goodwill of men of all color, faiths and beliefs, while two fine police officers lie forever fondly remembered in their graves.

The only contribution vermin like Herman Bell make to our society is to remind us that when death-penalty opponents decry execution, offering "life imprisonment" as a more "just" punishment, they are in reality pushing the old liberal agenda: Criminals should never be held accountable for their heinous crimes, it's always somebody else's fault - so even though we said life imprisonment, let's let 'em out as soon as possible.

This case right now, this very moment, screams for capital punishment. When they're dead, they can't get the ACLU to spring 'em so easily, can they now?

The one truly graphic moment I remember from "Badge of the Assassin" is the factually accurate recreation of Bell's capture. This brave "Revolutionary Soldier of the Left" urinated in his pants when confronted by law-enforcement personnel who, unlike Bell's unsuspecting ambush victims, could actually fire back. The coward wet his pants and gave up like a frightened girl. I suggest we not do the same.

Instead, we should be men enough to keep Herman Bell in jail for life and a day - and then bury him in the unmarked grave he so richly deserves.


James Woods, one of Hollywood's most distinguished actors, is known for his portrayals of Byron de la Beckwith, Roy Cohn and H.R. Haldeman, among others.


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