Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tommy Trantino: Part 2

The images come from Trantino's myspace site
an excerpt from a 2004 nytimes article about Trantino's release from jail
Thomas Trantino was out of jail again on Friday, talking of his plans to help prevent ''little Tommy Trantinos'' from following his path. He also said he looked forward to the publication of a Japanese translation of his jailhouse autobiography and, perhaps, an exhibit of his artwork in Tokyo.
But he was still a little cranky, complaining that he cannot shake the ''cop killer'' label he carries for the murders of two Lodi, N.J., police officers in 41 years ago.
Mr. Trantino, 66, was released from the Camden County Jail after his acquittal last week on charges that he assaulted his former girlfriend, Carmen Gonzalez. He had been released from prison in 2002 after serving 38 years, eight of them on death row, for the officers' killings. But the assault arrest prompted a revocation of his parole, and he was returned to jail.
Wearing the same jeans and fleece sweatshirt he wore when he was arrested on Nov. 6, Mr. Trantino stood outside the jail on Friday afternoon and talked about his life in confinement, his newfound faith and the system that he said had singled him out because of the crime he committed.
''They hold me to a different standard and treat me differently than anyone else,'' he said. ''For more than 40 years I did not use any drugs or alcohol, I did not commit any act of violence, and yet I'm still called 'cop killer.'''
He was convicted in February 1964 of murdering Detective Sgt. Peter Voto, 40, and Gary Tedesco, 22, a rookie patrolman, after forcing them to strip to their undershorts and pistol whipping them in a Lodi nightclub in August 1963.
The New Jersey State Parole Board announced Thursday that it was lifting the parole warrant against Mr. Trantino, clearing the way for his release. The board added four conditions to his original parole, including that he refrain from contact with Ms. Gonzalez and that he serve under an intensive supervision program for the next year, which requires more contact with his parole officer and more monitoring of him at home and work.
Edward Bray, a parole board spokesman, said there were concerns that there might have been a ''kernel of truth in the allegations.''
''We felt that putting him on a shorter leash for the time being made sense,'' Mr. Bray said.
Mr. Trantino said the extra conditions showed that ''the parole board continues to be vindictive and politically motivated.'' While he said he had no regrets about associating with Ms. Gonzalez, a convicted felon and admitted drug addict, Mr. Trantino said he had no intention of returning to jail.
''I want to live a reasonable and responsible way and make choices,'' he said. ''I choose freedom and peace.''
He said he intends to return to the job he held before his arrest last fall, running the Friends Transition Support Services, a Quaker-sponsored program to assist newly released prisoners, as well as speaking to former convicts, prison reform groups and at-risk youths.


edward c. stengel said...

I always have doubts about these "rehabilitated"
cons, but as far as the cops are concerned, I
really don't care. These cops murder people all
the time and never do a day in jail, so I see it
as poetic justice.

Anonymous said...

I know Tommy very well as I have served several years in prison with him. He is rehabilitated and has shared his rehabilitation with a countless number of felons. Although I've been out of prison for 20 years, I spent 10 years in the cages of Trenton and Riverfront State Prisons. I last saw Tommy about a year and a half ago, he was quick to point out that I'm still a hothead. This kind of stunned me, I have a B.S. in Business Administration, followed by a Paralegal Diploma, and at that time had taken the LSAT for law school. I didn't get into law school, but I needed that "pull-up" from Tommy. My academic credetials are useless as an ex-con will never get a break, but I credit Tommy for my ability to not reoffend. You should thank Tommy too, as I am very angry at society for not allowing me to obtain a career.

Anonymous said...

Very angry at society for not allowing me to obtain a career.

Yeah, it's society's fault.