Jack Carroll wins parole
I find this hard to believe myself, but Jack Carroll has been granted parole and will soon be released from prison -- after 11 long years.
A year ago he was denied parole when one of the parole commissioners voting against him was Chris Ortloff, the former assemblyman who has since pleaded guilty to soliciting sex with children.
Jack requested a new hearing – not on those grounds, since there is no provision for anything like that – but on the rather technical grounds that his file as reviewed by the parole commissioners contained misinformation.
It sounded to me like a very long shot, and I put little hope in it, but lo and behold! He got the new hearing, before two rather than the customary three commissioners, and they approved him. Just like that.
Am I getting ahead of myself?
Jack Carroll is a former boat mechanic from Troy who was accused in 1997 of sexually molesting a young girl whom I still cannot identify even by relationship, though the relationship is crucial to understanding the story. Suffice it to say the accusation was part of a family break-up situation.
He was prosecuted by a then assistant district attorney in Rensselaer County, Patricia DeAngelis, who eventually became notorious for her courtroom theatrics and was finally discredited and put out of a job because of them. But this was early in her career, and it was one of the cases in which she made her bones.
She got Jack convicted, the conviction was overturned on appeal, and she then retried him and got him reconvicted and sentenced to a fresh 10 to 20 years in prison.
I followed the case closely and believe Jack was the victim first of spousal vengefulness, second of police lies and distortions, third of prosecutorial histrionics, and finally of a general social hysteria about the sexual abuse of children which clouded people’s good sense.
DeAngelis was one of the main local players in this social movement, and she was supported by equally irrational and dishonest members of the Troy Police Department and the State Police.
Anyway, that’s who Jack Carroll is – one of the many victims of the nationwide sex-abuse hysteria.
Now after 11 years in prison, meaning one year more than his minimum sentence, he’s getting out. His tentative release date is Feb. 26, according to a letter sent to his wife, Mary, from the Northeast Bureau of the state Division of Parole. (Mary is not the wife I alluded to with “spousal vengefulness.” That was a previous wife.)
What will it be like having him home?
“There will be an adjustment period, for sure,” Mary told me. “But we just want normalcy.”
She said Rev. Peter Young, who helps many released inmates, has offered him a job, and that he has four or five other job offers also.
I’d offer him a job myself, if I had one to offer.