Allegheny County judge grants compassionate release to inmate, but might be too late

TribLIVE, 05/20/24: “An Allegheny County judge on Monday granted compassionate release for an ailing quadriplegic man serving life in prison.

But his attorney says it might be too late.

Ezra Bozeman, 68, was rushed to an area hospital from the State Correctional Institution at Laurel Highlands early Monday and is now on life support.

“It’s really a hollow victory,” said Dolly Prabhu, an attorney with the Abolitionist Law Center, after the short court proceeding concluded in Common Pleas Court.

Bozeman, who was convicted of second-degree murder in October 1975 for killing Morris Weitz during a robbery at Highland Cleaners in Highland Park, has been incarcerated for nearly 49 years.

He became quadriplegic in February following spinal surgery for a previously misdiagnosed injury four years earlier.

His attorneys filed a motion for compassionate release, supported by several state representatives and Gov. Josh Shapiro.

But at a hearing on the issue last week, the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office said it objected to Bozeman’s release, saying that his attorneys had failed to meet the requirements under the law that dictate Pennsylvania’s compassionate release program.”

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