N.J. lawmakers launch push for fugitive Chesimard's return from Cuba
on March 31, 2017 at 7:10 AM, updated March 31, 2017 at 8:51 AM
WASHINGTON -- Reps. Chris Smith and Albio Sires began a new effort to
push for the return of convicted cop-killer Joanne Chesimard to the
U.S., re-introducing legislation to have the government push for the
return of fugitives harbored abroad.
The bill is named for two New Jersey residents, Walter Patterson and New
Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster, both of whose killers were found
and convicted but escaped and are living overseas. Both Smith and Sires
(D-8th Dist.) sponsored similar legislation in the last Congress.
Under the bill, federal government would have to submit annual reports
on the number of fugitives and the efforts being made to bring them back.
"These are two of the most egregious cases, but it's clear that there
are many others," said Smith (R-4th Dist.). "This bill will give
Congress the relevant facts with which to jump-start new approaches to
Chesimard was the first woman named to the FBI's list of most wanted
terrorists. She was convicted of killing Foerster after a car carrying
her and other members of the Black Liberation Army was stopped on the
New Jersey Turnpike in 1973.
She lives in Cuba and her continued presence there led to members of the
New Jersey congressional delegation objecting to President Barack
Obama's efforts to restore relations with the communist island.
"It is unconscionable, albeit not surprising, that the Castro regime,
suppressors of the freedom-loving people of Cuba, will allow a convicted
killer to walk freely and enjoy the liberties it denies its own people,"
Patterson, a World War II veteran, was killed in 1962 at a gas station
he co-owned in Wall Township. After his killer, George Wright, escaped
from prison, he was one of the Black Liberation Army members who
hijacked a Delta Air Lines plane in 1972 and sought asylum in Algeria.
He was discovered in Portugal in 2011, though the government there has
refused to extradite him.
Jonathan D. Salant may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: N.J. lawmakers launch push for fugitive Chesimard's return from
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