Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty Law Blog

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Failures of Probation & Surveillance: Can the Government Be Held Accountable for This Man's Crimes?

The attorneys at Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty take the responsibility of protecting everyday New Yorkers from the negligence and failures of our government to protect us very seriously. We mourn the loss of family members with our clients, and always try to help them answer questions about how what happened to them will never happen to another.

On March 14, 2013, a sex offender named David Renz murdered a school librarian and raped her daughter in Syracuse, New York. Renz had just been arrested for child pornography charges, and as a condition of his bail had to wear an ankle monitor. From Renz's own mouth, he described how he was able to disable the ankle monitor, and his probation supervisor showed him how to re-attach it on his own. Renz was able to take off and re-attach the ankle monitor nearly a dozen times before his horrible crimes.

Is the government responsible for Renz's crimes? They might be. If the government knew that Renz was predisposed to sexually oriented crimes and failed to properly monitor Renz, as it appears they did here, they may be liable for negligently failing to supervise Renz and report him when he detached the ankle monitor. This is a classic "but for" case: but for the government's failure to properly monitor Renz, he may never have committed those crimes, and therefore the government may be responsible and will have to pay the family of Renz's victims for its negligence.

This is a hypothetical situation; no case has been filed yet to our knowledge. But if you, or if someone you know, has been hurt by the negligence of the government, you may have a case. Call the attorneys at Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty at (212) 425-0230 or at for a free consultation to discuss your injuries and your rights.

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