Following statements made by Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson, Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris, Passaic) said that he is hopeful New Jersey will have an ally in Washington who will demand Cuba return cop-killer Joanne Chesimard.
Joanne Chesimard is wanted for escaping from prison in Clinton, New Jersey, while serving a life sentence for murdering a New Jersey State Trooper. She relocated to Cuba in 1984, where she is thought to still be living. (FBI)
Rex Tillerson on Wednesday told the Foreign Relations Committee that as President-Elect Trump’s secretary of state, he would demand that Cuba extradite Chesimard.
“I have said it before – President Obama should have never opened relations with Cuba without first demanding the extradition of convicted cop-killer Joanne Chesimard,” Senator Pennacchio said. “I applaud President-Elect Trump for nominating a secretary of state who has the courage and the capacity to right this wrong.
“Joanne Chesimard murdered a New Jersey State Trooper in cold blood, and yet she has been able to live a comfortable island-life while we grieve his loss. The Obama administration failed to seek justice for Trooper Foerster’s family. I am hopeful the incoming administration will not make the same mistake.”
Senator Pennacchio is the prime sponsor of bipartisan legislation, SR-11, urging Cuba to extradite Joanne Chesimard to the United States. Pennacchio first introduced the resolution last year. It is currently awaiting action in the Senate.
“We must continue to do our part to ensure Joanne Chesimard pays the price for avoiding the hands of the law,” Senator Pennacchio added. “People in this state are tired of seeing words without action in Trenton. I urge my colleagues in the legislature to join this fight by posting my resolution urging Chesimard’s extradition as soon as possible.”
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