Convicted Killer Up For Parole - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Convicted Killer Up For Parole

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DELAWARE - Convicted killer Ransford Bryan is up for parole for the fifth time.

A jury found him guilty of killing Douglas Brockway back in 1987. And the family of the victim is fighting to make sure he never gets out of prison.

"They think he's going to get out this time," worries the victim's mother, Peggy Brockway Truitt, "because they say he's a model prisoner."   

If he gets out, the victim's family is convinced he will do it again.

"The first parole hearing we saw Randy," remembers Peggy, "They had him in a holding cell. And he literally burst out into this hideous laughter."

47 ABC asked Dr. Kathy Seifert why a convicted killer would kill again if released. Dr. Seifert points to a lack of empathy, "Usually it comes from growing up, usually.  Growing up in a family where there's a lot of trauma and violence going on. It just destroys that part of the brain."

And empathy is almost impossible to develop past childhood.

"At whatever age he is now, he's not gonna develop empathy. He's way past the age," Seifert tells 47 ABC. "You develop empathy when you're seven or eight years old."

But Dr. Seifert warns that a prisoner who follows the rules behind bars is highly unlikely to do the same on their own.

"The reason they do well in prison is that somebody else is telling them what to do," explains Seifert. "They don't have the internal resources to tell themselves when they get out of jail, 'Don't do that'."

And those are the people that she says need be locked away forever. 47 ABC's Jemie Lee spoke to the administrator of the Delaware parole board who says that number of different things are considered during a parole hearing.

They look at the prisoner's institutional behavior, the victim's impact statement, seriousness of the offense and the length of time they have served. They also look at relevant self-help classes the prisoner has taken to better themselves.

We asked the DOC if Bryan has taken any of these programs, but we're told that information is confidential.

His parole hearing is scheduled for June 10th.

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