New Jersey lawmakers are hopeful that Cuba’s agreement to open talks about U.S. fugitives will bring a convicted cop killer back to the Garden State.
Joanne Chesimard was granted political asylum in Cuba after escaping from prison in 1979. She was serving a sentence for killing New Jersey State Trooper Werner Forester.
State Senator Tony Bucco says New Jersey officials have been pressing for years to have her returned. “I think it would be a tremendous message sent to the state to our law enforcement people that we stand behind them 100 percent, and making that this doesn’t happen again. Or if it does we’re going to pursue it even further.”
Senate President Steve Sweeney is critical of Cuba for harboring someone who murdered a law enforcement officer. He says extraditing Chesimard would help improve Cuba’s relationship with the U.S.
“Here’s a person that murdered a state trooper and then went to Cuba for asylum,” Sweeney said. “You can’t harbor murderers, especially people that murdering law enforcement personnel.”