Parole Board Reviews Killer's Release, Lawmaker Proposes 30 Year Minimum For Murder

Alfred Brissette, convicted of 1999 thrill killing of Jeanette Descoteaux, may be paroled 22 years early.


Alfred Brissette, convicted of killing Jeanette Descoteaux, might not be released 22 years early after all, according to WPRI.com, and one lawmaker wants a 30-year minimum sentence for murderers going forward. 

Brissette, previously scheduled for parole after serving just 13 years of a 35-year sentence for the 1999 murder of the Woonsocket woman he and another man committed for the thrill, was scheduled to be released from prison this year. But WPRI.com and Boston.com report the parole board is reviewing the decision.

Boston.com reports part of Brissette’s release plan fell through, according to a parole board official. WPRI.com reports the board will review the case Dec. 17.

Meanwhile, Lou Raptakis, newly elected senator for Coventry's Dist. 33, has pledged to introduce a bill setting a 30-year minimum on the prison sentences for murderers, according to turnto10.com.

The law is similar to one inspired by the early release of convicted murderer Michael Woodmansee, who admitted to killing five-year-old Jason Foreman in 1975 when he was 16 years old. He was caught after trying to strangle paperboy Dale Sherman, 14, in 1982.

Woodmansee was sentenced to a 40-year sentence. 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 in March 2011. 

The bill, sponsored by Senator V. Susan Sosnowski and Representative Teresa Tanzi, prohibits those convicted of certain crimes, including murder, attempted murder, kidnapping of a minor, first degree sexual assault, and first and second degree child molestation, from earning credits toward early release for good behavior. The Act took effect on July 1, 2012 and applies to all earned time not awarded or otherwise credited to a prisoner's sentence on or before that date.  

It passed in the senate in May after passing in the house this year. Woodmansee voluntarily committed himself in June 2011.

That bill doesn't cover the decisions of the parole board. In Brissette's case, he was granted parole, not released early due to time off he may have earned for good behavior or other program credits, according to Amy Kempe, Public Information Officer for Attorney General Peter Kilmartin.

Raptakis's bill would cover the parole board's decisions about murderers' early release, however. 

dohn joe November 30, 2012 at 01:28 PM
uh oh everyone. don't ever steal candy, you might just end up in the electric chair. The reason why they have long jail sentences is because the judge decided that was the time that the individual would take to reform. Now the government is trying to step in and make their own laws. Why even have a judge then if their gonna make more laws? Just throw them in jail for life when you see fit....... or until it happens to one of them, then they will see how foolish they really are. I know people deserve a lot more time in jail, but that's the reason why we have a judge, jury, and witnesses. these people that are trying to make new laws probably never even been in a courtroom, so they wouldn't know how it works. As corrupt as this state is, I think once you gewt out of jail and do your time, then you are certainly free, But if you do the crime again, then throw the book at you and you deserve the full consequences.
dohn joe November 30, 2012 at 01:28 PM
A lot of these people are one time offenders. What happens if a guy gets falsely accused of touching a child and takes a plea of just probation and does no jail time. That would mean that the court knew he wasn't a harmful person, so why even give him probation? but once he walks out of the courtroom, then he is a labeled man for the rest of his life because one female lied. tell me society, does this sound right and fair? I say this because I know someone that went through this, and I know he didn't do it because at the time we were skiing in another state when it supposedly happened. he got 6 years probation, and has to register for the rest of his life being labeled.
Leave RI December 01, 2012 at 04:33 AM
Hmm...30 years..the same amount of time it takes to get a state pension..what's at the end of that yellow brick road..besides free transplants for the inmates I mean...sucks if you're 70..not a bad deal if you're 20...plan crimes accordingly? You can live an upstanding and clean life for 70 years then wham..life in prison..or screw up right out the gate and get a new life..sounds like screw up early is the better deal.
From Warwick December 05, 2012 at 01:00 PM
It's not that they are trying to make up new laws to screw people they are making sure that a stupid parole board doesn't release murders early for " good time". Does the person that was murdered or their family have a chance at a new life? NO THEY DON'T! Then why should the loser that murdered them get out early. He did the crime now he can do the time! If this was your family u wouldn't be bitching now would u!! It's not mine either but I agree they shouldn't get out earlier then the judge that sentenced them says!! And that is what the new law will address. Making sure the " judges" sentence sticks and the parole board doesn't let them out early
From Warwick December 05, 2012 at 01:11 PM
@ John Doe I agree with you 100%. When someone lies about being sexually assaulted or lies about the kid being molested and they get caught then they should do jail time!! They just ruined that persons life cause everyone will always think of them that way. I know someone who was falsely accused and has a letter from the state saying he should look into the matter more because they know the police set him up! Came right from the district atty. however he still has to reg and had to finish his time because he cdnt afford a good lawyer.
Valerie Parkhurst December 08, 2012 at 11:14 AM
I find it amazing you would ply that load of crap under this article..dohn joe? Any numb-nut that attempts to correlate stealing candy with the above freaks circumstances is a typical sex offender that is always on the road to minimize what sex offenders actually do. The guy should have had a needle stuck in his arm.Not having the public dialogue about his release. You guys are a hoot. Doesnt matter if the perv thrill killed or molested a 4 year old, guys like you figure if it was his "first conviction" all should be forgiven..
dohn joe December 08, 2012 at 01:31 PM
@valerie....What about the real innocent people. do they deserve to be labeled for life? How do you know if the child molestors or killers are rehabbed? Prison is a place to be rehibilitated, thats why they are sent there. Judge can easily make it witj no chance of parole if he/ she sees fit. you want to see everyone stay in jail for the rest of their lives. i say if their doing life without parole then it should be death penalty. why waste tax payers money.
dohn joe December 08, 2012 at 01:33 PM
I know the families mourne but the killer/ molester is going to get out eventually.
Valerie Parkhurst December 08, 2012 at 02:25 PM
You confuse this article with something else altogther. I have no tolerance for one person to tear another person's world in two with a false accusation, this isnt what you have here. You have a specific textbook example of failed human DNA whose crime warranted a needle stuck in his arm years ago. I dont give a damn whether he is rehabilitated and or Found God. Justice "defined" is for the victims and families of the victims. I am sure his cell mates introduced him to Jesus on more than one occation, too bad it wasnt permanently. Your status is showing dohnjoe when you equate the death penalty with taxpayers saving a dime and a guy killing a kid and attempting to kill another one..bet your a hit at parties..
dohn joe December 08, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Without getting into a juvenile argument, i can see valerie is one that throws the book at people nefore really finding out if they did the crime. judges hand out sentences as they see fit for the crime. people like you want to change it because you want to f.eel important and make a difference. good luck on your quest to change the world as i see its working out great. you will thonkits great until you are falsely accused and realize that noone will help you get out of it. i do thonk people that kill others should get the needle also as long as they dont deny the crime.
Valerie Parkhurst December 08, 2012 at 05:05 PM
(i do thonk people that kill others should get the needle also as long as they dont deny the crime.) "dont deny the crime"? Sweetie 3/4 of the guys in prison "deny the crime" what planet did you fall down from??
Suzanne Arena December 15, 2012 at 06:13 PM
TODAY is the rally at 3:30 in Cranston. I will post the flyer.


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