Criminal Justice

Paul Hastings lawyer takes up criminal justice issues after learning of 1980 murder in his home

Paul Hastings partner Scott Saks has lived in two New York homes where murders occurred.

The first, in Chappaqua, was the site of an apparent mob hit in the 1900s, Saks tells the New York Law Journal. The second, Saks’ present home in Westchester, was the location where a retired editor of Reader’s Digest was strangled and killed in 1980. Her husband survived, but he was badly beaten.

Saks never paid attention to criminal law before he learned of the murder of 67-year-old retired editor Eleanor Prouty. Two boys who escaped from a nearby juvenile facility were convicted in the incident, the story reports. Terry Losicco, who was convicted of intentional murder in the case, is once again up for parole. Another youth convicted of felony murder was released in 2010.

Saks is opposing parole for Losicco, who was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison, the story says. Losicco became eligible for parole after serving the minimum, and is entitled to a parole review every two years. Saks believes the period between parole hearings is too short, and he is supporting legislation to lengthen the time to five-year intervals.

Records suggest that Losicco has been a model prisoner, the story says, but Saks doesn’t believe the inmate has changed over the years. “If someone has been in prison since they were 16 and are now 50, the chances of him being rehabilitated are zero,” Saks tells the New York Law Journal.

Saks told the publication he didn’t know the Westchester home he purchased was the site of a murder, but he would have bought it nonetheless. “The question we asked was: ‘Is this house haunted?’ And the answer was ‘no.’ We didn’t think to ask the next question, whether there was any reason for the house to be haunted,” Saks said.

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