Zappala fights release of quadriplegic prison inmate supported by Shapiro

TribLIVE, 05/14/24: “The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday tried to thwart at every turn a request for compassionate release by a quadriplegic man serving a life prison term, despite Gov. Josh Shapiro and several state representatives throwing their weight behind the effort.

Ezra Bozeman, 68, was convicted of second-degree murder in October 1975 for the shooting death of Morris Weitz during a robbery at Highland Cleaners in Highland Park on Jan. 3 of that year.

Bozeman, who denies his involvement in the crime, has been incarcerated for nearly 49 years.

During that time, his supporters say, he has been a model inmate, mentoring younger people around him and serving as a certified peer specialist.

But in February, following spinal surgery for an injury his attorneys said was misdiagnosed four years ago, Bozeman became quadriplegic.

His doctor does not believe Bozeman will live more than another year.

But at a court hearing Tuesday, Deputy District Attorney Ronald M. Wabby Jr. refused to concede Bozeman’s medical condition and said the inmate failed to make the case that he deserves compassionate release.”

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