The attacker, Alexis Rodriguez, was one of five convicted of gang-beating then murdering the 17-year-old son of a Philadelphia police officer in 1989.
According to FOX News, on December 1, 2021, the Fetterman-chaired Pennsylvania Board of Pardons held a public hearing for Rodriguez, wherein the murderer’s request to have his life sentence commuted was rejected 3-1.
News reports at the time of the incident explained that Rodriguez and his fellow Hispanic gang members had ambushed 17-year-old Sean Daily, beating him with a baseball bat before shooting him to death.
The attack was allegedly committed in retaliation for the beating of one of the defendants, Rafael Droz, by a gang of white boys, which Daily had not been party to.
Following the trial of what was widely considered a “racially motivated” crime, tensions rose in Philadelphia as some expressed support for the murderers.
Fetterman spokesman Joe Calvello attempted to justify his decision to cast the lone “yes” vote, arguing that “the commutation, in this case, was supported by both prosecutors and corrections officers at the time." He added that Rodriguez had been “rehabilitated” in prison.
Calvello accused those bringing up Fetterman’s soft-on-criminals history of distracting voters from his competitor, Dr. Mehmet Oz,’s legacy as a medical “fraud.”
This is not the first time Fetterman has been called out for being the lone “yes” vote on the state parole board.
In September, it was revealed that he had done so for John David Brookins, who murdered a woman with a pair of scissors.
Despite acknowledging that Brookins’ testimony “wasn’t particularly strong,” Fetterman cast the lone “yes” vote, citing Brookins’ good behavior in prison, as well as the fact that he taught yoga. He even campaigned on social media for his release.
Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub suggested that Fetterman “had a predetermined agenda to try to get this guy released without listening to anything anybody had to say about it beforehand,” adding that when the tweets were brought up, Fetterman shut off his screen in rage.
"He does not like to be crossed or opposed," Weintraub said of Fetterman.
"He was treating this as his own personal opportunity to right perceived wrongs, regardless of how the system had made these determinations in the past. And I would be concerned that he would behave that way in the future."
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