Committee debates clemency for murderers of teenager Danny Katz

The committee examined an earlier decision by President Shimon Peres to reduce the inmates' sentences by one-third.

masked fatah gunman 88 (photo credit:)
masked fatah gunman 88
(photo credit: )
A prison committee met on Tuesday to decide whether to shorten the sentence of three of the five Israeli Arabs convicted of murdering 15-year-old Danny Katz in 1983. The committee examined an earlier decision by President Shimon Peres to reduce the inmates' sentences by one-third. "A judge, two pubic officials, and an Israel Prisons Service representative are attending the meeting," IPS spokesman Yaron Zamir said. "The prisons delegate has no voting power [but can advise,]" he added. "The committee will consider the state's stance on clemency, and then come to a decision. The conduct of the inmates in prison is also a factor." Should the sentences be reduced, the prisoners will be eligible to leave prison, having served at least two-thirds of their time behind bars. Katz went missing from his home in December of 1983. His body was found in a canal in the neighboring village of Ya'ad, near Sakhnin, several days later. Family members of the murdered teenager launched an appeal against Peres's decision two months ago, which was rejected. Their only hope to have the decision canceled rests with the committee's decision. Amnon Katz, Danny's brother, told Army Radio of his feelings on the prospect of seeing three of his convicted killers set free. "It's as if the state betrayed us," he said. "Cruel murderers who decided to harm the Jewish people are supported and looked after, while the good citizens of the state get screwed." In 2002, the inmates were retried, due to the men's claims that they had been forced to confess. The retrial resulted in their second conviction.