The case of Betsy Ramos shows the real workings of the capitalist “justice” system. Ramos, 56, is terminally ill with cancer and not expected to live much more than a year. She has been incarcerated for 22 years after being convicted on second-degree manslaughter charges for her then boyfriend Jose Serrano’s killing of New York police officer Anthony Mosomillo.
Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis last month denied Ramos’ request for compassionate release. Ramos had won parole on Dec. 9, 2019, but Garaufis threw her back in prison days later. The judge was fully aware of Ramos’ grave medical condition, but chose to ignore the fact she might die behind bars when he resentenced her.
On the morning of May 26, 1998, cops Mosomillo and Miriam Sanchez-Torres went to Ramos’ apartment in Brooklyn looking for Serrano, who was wanted for failing to appear in court. Ramos said he wasn’t there, but the cops ignored her and searched the apartment. They found Serrano hiding in a closet and a fight ensued. Serrano, picking up Sanchez-Torres’s gun off the floor, shot Mosomillo, who shot back, killing Serrano before dying of wounds.
A jury found Ramos guilty of causing Sanchez-Torres to drop her gun. She received 15 years to life for manslaughter, the harshest possible sentence allowed by law.
When Ramos was paroled in 2019, the cops’ Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association raised a hue and cry. Federal prosecutors then charged Ramos with violating parole on a previous drug-related conviction decades earlier. When Serrano killed Mosomillo in her apartment, they claimed, she violated her parole. This was why Ramos was thrown back in prison for another two years.
Ramos had had a rough life. She was abused and abandoned by her mother, then by her father. She began using heroin and was imprisoned on a federal heroin trafficking charge for three years, the charge she was on parole for in 1998.
In court testimony, Ramos said Serrano abused her as well.
“I hid my abuser from the police when they came to serve a warrant,” Ramos said in a court statement before being resentenced to prison. “My actions that day set in motion a situation where a police officer died. But I did not kill the police officer.”
“Ramos has done more time than anyone else has ever served for a similar offense,” Ron Kuby, her attorney, told the media after the hearing. The system is “piling on torture and punishment because her dead boyfriend’s victim was a police officer.”