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Officials: Murderer gets hug from warden: Transsexual convict named 'inmate of month'

CLINTON -- A transsexual who was sprung from Death Row on a legal technicality after killing two police officers has been given an "inmate of the month" award by the women's prison where she is currently serving a life term, according to state corrections department officials.

Leslie Ann Nelson, 47, was given a certificate and got a hug from Charlotte Blackwell, warden at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women in northern New Jersey, after she was named "maximum security inmate worker of the month" for August, officials said.

A guard who works at the prison and other law enforcement officials reacted with outrage yesterday at the recognition of Nelson, who admitted she gunned down two cops 10 years ago as they attempted to execute a search warrant at her Haddon Heights home.

Camden County Prosecutor's Office investigator John McLaughlin and Haddon Heights police officer John Norcross were shot dead on April 20, 1995 when Nelson -- known as Glenn Nelson until a 1992 sex-change operation -- opened fire with an AK-47 assault rifle and a 9-millimeter handgun. The officers went to her house to search for illegal weapons.

"They don't have an officer of the month or an employee of the month, but we have inmate of the month," said one angry Mahan prison guard who asked not to be identified. "And the inmate of the month ends up being a cop-killer who gets a big hug from the warden. It's disgraceful."

Nelson, who works in the prison law library as a paralegal, was given the award for tutoring other inmates on literacy, according to Department of Corrections spokesman Matt Schuman.

"The idea there is to have restorative justice, to try to get programs that encourage inmates to behave the right way or to make amends for the behavior that got them into prison in the first place," Schuman said. "A teacher or a supervisor nominates the inmates, and people aren't judged before they are given the certificate on the crime they committed."

Schuman said over the course of a year, about 10 percent of the women in lockup, or around 120 inmates, will receive an inmate worker or inmate student of the month at the prison that houses 1,086 convicts.

Last Thursday, the award winners were treated to their annual luncheon that included a menu of wrapped turkey, tuna, or vegetarian sandwiches, choice of a jelly or glazed donut, and soda, Schuman said.

Law enforcement groups from around the state reacted with disgust yesterday.

"I think it's outrageous. It's insulting to every cop that gave his or her life in the service," said Joseph Carmen, an attorney for the Fraternal Order of Police Local 200, which represents approximately 7,000 corrections officers statewide.

Jeff Smith, president of another FOP guards union, called Nelson's award "a slap in the face."

"We think it's ludicrous because regardless of (Nelson's) record while she has been incarcerated, it doesn't negate the fact that she killed two officers in cold blood," Smith said.

"This is a heinous, heinous crime. Two people are dead and dozens of family members will be affected for rest of their lives, and this guy is getting recognition. It's almost like among his peers, he's a shining star."

Haddon Heights police chief Ronald Shute could barely bring himself to speak.

"If I had a comment, you wouldn't be able to print it," Shute said.

The Camden County Prosecutor's Office declined to comment, citing rules regarding pre-trial publicity, according to spokesman Bill Shralow.

Shute and others said news of the award was especially hard to swallow because it comes just a few months before jury selection in another Nelson trial.

In June 2006, she will head to court for a third time so a jury can decide her penalty.

Nelson was twice sentenced to death for the slayings, but the state Supreme Court overturned the second death sentence in 2002 in a ruling that stated the jury could have been confused by the judge's instructions.

The Attorney General's Office is seeking the death penalty again, while Nelson has said she wants a life term.

©The Trentonian 2005
 

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This is fu*king disgusting. I figured shit like this would happen in loony-left coast California, but to see it happen to a two-time cop killer on trial for capital murder, it just boils by blood.
 

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Wow how fcuked up is that?

At first I thought this was going to be a funny one...trans sexual, inmate award, knees, service friends to everyone...bla bla bla...

but it's just sick and stupid how prisons coddle these lowlifes.
 

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So, according to a prison spokesman she/he/it is making "amends" for gunning down 2 cops with an AK-47 and 9mm by being a prison paralegal and tutoring ??

Well hopefully she/he/it will finally sit on "ol' sparky" and really make amends.

Hopefully whats her name who heads Mass DOC didn't hear about this, she'll probably try to do something like that here.
 

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The idea there is to have restorative justice, to try to get programs that encourage inmates to behave the right way or to make amends for the behavior that got them into prison in the first place," Schuman said. "A teacher or a supervisor nominates the inmates, and people aren't judged before they are given the certificate on the crime they committed."
First off, this is one of most disturbing articles I have read in a long time, man/women/thing, whatever the cop-killer is now should not see the light of day, never mind love and hugs from the warden.

Restorative Justice? Ok, it may be alright to throw those terms around when talking about a minimum security facility where the inmate is paying a short term debt to society and still needs to remain productive when he/she gets back out, but in this case I think the warden is just trying to backtrack and double talk. Who cares about the fancy degrees and teaching ability, it is not going to make a difference to the families of the officer's or bring them back. There is no making amends for killing someone in the first place, nevermind two police officers. The only thing that should be restored is the death penalty in this case.
 

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A Inmate of the month but no officer or employee of the month. That is fucked up, this Warden has got her head so far up her ass its amazing.
 
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