Brooke Astor’s Son, 89, Paroled After 8 Weeks

Lawyers say Anthony Marshall can't stand up

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 23, 2013 2:01 AM CDT

(Newser) – Brooke Astor's 89-year-old son went to prison two months ago following a conviction for stealing from his mother's fortune. Anthony Marshall was supposed to serve a one- to three-year sentence, but he's already been paroled due to his health, the New York Times reports. His lawyers have said he can't stand or clean himself and has dangerous swallowing problems. When Marshall entered prison, officials said they could handle his health issues, and several previous court decisions have said his condition shouldn't keep him out of jail.

Still, the decision of three parole board members was unanimous. For health-related parole, New York rules require the inmate to be "so physically or cognitively debilitated or incapacitated that there is a reasonable probability" they pose no danger. While some may be concerned that the case represents another rich white man getting preferential treatment, the Times notes that the state paroled 11 people under the health law last year. But a prosecutor fears it will set a bad example: "The message to healthy elders who are tempted to commit financial abuse against family members could well be that the benefits of the crime outweigh the risk of punishment," she wrote.

In this June 21, 2013 file photo, an unidentified man pushes Anthony Marshall in a wheelchair while his wife, Charlene Marshall, speaks to him outside his residence in New York.   (AP Photo/William Regan, File)
In this undated photo provided by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, inmate Anthony Marshall is shown.   (AP Photo/New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision)
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