Web Site Seeks Opinion on Parole
Dec. 22, 1997
NEW YORK (AP) _ The state attorney general went to the Internet today to enlist public opinion against the parole of Joel Steinberg, the lawyer convicted of beating his illegally adopted daughter to death.
Steinberg is serving up to 25 years in prison for the 1987 killing of the 6-year-old girl, Lisa.
Attorney General Dennis C. Vacco's Web site features a photograph of Lisa holding the family's other child, Mitchell. The page is topped by the headline ``Joel Steinberg: Up for Parole. What's your opinion?''
Vacco made it clear what his opinion is, calling Steinberg a ``despicable monster'' and saying he opposes parole.
Several comments had been posted on the site by late morning.
``'Nae, nae, nae' to Joel Steinberg's request for parole!'' said one unsigned comment. ``He must be made to serve the full-term of his (too lenient) sentence.''
Another comment said: ``I feel that 25 years isn't sufficient, considering he has `snuffed' out the life of a young child and while that child lived, he made her short life a misery.''
Steinberg was first eligible for parole in 1995. He was turned down when the Parole Board found that he had continued to deny responsibility for Lisa's death. He is scheduled to plead his case again before the Parole Board next month.
The highly publicized case focused national attention on domestic violence. As a baby, Lisa was given to Steinberg by an unmarried teen mother who thought he would arrange for her adoption. Instead, he brought the child home to raise as his own.
Steinberg was accused of hitting Lisa on the head and then not seeking medical help for her. Hedda Nussbaum, his lover who also was abused by Steinberg, testified that they used cocaine while the girl lay dying on the bathroom floor. Nussbaum was given immunity from prosecution for her testimony.
The Web site address: http://www.oag.state.ny.us.