C'tee rejects clemency for killers of Danny Katz

A prison committee rejected a request by five Israeli Arabs convicted of murdering 15-year-old Danny Katz in 1983 for clemency on Monday, saying that the men were still a danger "to every Jewish child that would cross their paths." The committee said the prisoners "did not commence steps to self-rehabilitation," adding that they remained in possession of the same "dangerous and murderous positions which they had during their entry into prison." State prosecutors interviewed by the committee said "an ideological-nationalistic motive lay behind the murder, which adds a dimension of severity to their acts and indicates a future danger. "The release committee must give these motives much weight in its discussion on early release. We believe the committee should not grant clemency when it is clear that the applicants did not work on their motives through an intensive therapeutic process." The decision was welcomed by Moshe Katz, Danny's father, but he also expressed concern that the prisoners would receive clemency next year. The possibility of clemency was made possible by an earlier decision by President Shimon Peres to reduce the sentences of the inmates by a third. Danny 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. In 2002, a retrial was held for the inmates, due to claims by the men that they had been forced to confess. The trial resulted in their second conviction.