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New law wins early release for NJ inmate with MS who murdered her husband

BUTLER — A bedridden woman convicted of murdering her husband in “cold blood” has won an appeal for early release decades earlier than expected thanks to a relatively new law.

Although the court documents do not include the name of the detainee, the details included point to Amalia Mirasola. An all-women jury convicted Mirasola of first-degree murder for fatally shooting her husband Carl in 2010.

Mirasola, of Butler, used a handgun to shoot her husband six times. The murder rocked the small borough of Morris County which at the time had a population of less than 8,000.

The mother-of-three was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and was in a wheelchair before the murder. Her condition has steadily declined over the past decade and she is now terminally ill.

Mirasola, 56, has lost movement in three limbs and requires 24-hour daily medical attention, court documents show. Based on his condition, Monday’s decision approved his request for early release on humanitarian grounds.

In February 2021, a new law relaxed restrictions on early release to include inmates convicted of murder and manslaughter. Monday’s ruling said the law under the Criminals’ Release Act “left the court without any discretion to dismiss the defendant’s motion”.

“The CRA also eliminates the disqualification of inmates under the Medical Parole Act because of the crimes for which they are serving sentences,” the decision reads. “Thus, inmates who are serving sentences for any crime in our Criminal Code, including murder, are eligible for release under the CRA.”

Mirasola served eight years of his forty-year sentence at Edna Mahan Correctional Institution. She’s eligible for parole at the end of 2046, meaning the decision kicks her out of Edna Mahan more than two decades earlier than before.

The decision overturns an earlier June 2021 appeal denying Mirasola’s early release. Last year, state Superior Court Judge Robert Hanna ruled that the seriousness of the murder outweighed his condition.

Hanna wrote that the murder was “premeditated, calculated and committed in cold blood”. He added that committing the murder while their children were at home was “particularly depraved and heinous”.

The judge also took into account the statements of the couple’s three children opposing his release. They called her “violent” and “physically and mentally violent”, according to the Daily Record.

These same children also called their father “loving and caring”. The statements apparently contradict Mirasola’s claim that she shot her husband to prevent him from abusing one of their daughters.

However, Hanna at the time admitted that Mirasola was physically incapable of committing another crime. He also agreed that his illness had worsened during his time behind bars.

Both are requirements under the law for a prisoner to be eligible for early release. Monday’s ruling says Hanna should have considered only those factors and not the crime or the children’s contribution.

The final decision of the Court of Appeal will not be finalized for 10 days. This gives state prosecutors the opportunity to try to take the case to the state Supreme Court.

Municipal tax bill for every city and town in NJ, filed

Just under 30 cents of every $1 of property taxes collected in New Jersey supports municipal services provided by cities, townships, boroughs, and villages. Statewide, the average municipal tax bill alone in 2021 was $2,725, but that varied widely from over $13,000 in Tavistock to nothing in three townships. In addition to the $9.22 billion in taxes for municipal purposes, special tax districts that in some locations provide municipal services such as fire protection, garbage collection or economic development collected 323, $8 million in 2021.

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These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn’t have to be just the beach. Our state has incredible trails, waterfalls and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to New Jersey’s hidden gems, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it’s a great workout.

Before you hit the trails and explore some of our listeners’ suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you descend and encounter an uphill hiker, pull to the side and give the uphill hiker some space. An uphill hiker has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless marked as an official trail, avoid them. Going off the trail, you risk damaging the ecosystems around the trail, the plants and wildlife that live there.

You also don’t want to disturb any wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Cyclists must yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also give in to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you’ll encounter on New Jersey trails.

If you plan to bring your dog on your hike, they must be on a leash and be sure to clean up all pet waste.

Finally, pay attention to the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it’s probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions on the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions: