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Associated Press, Published April 14 2012

Minnesota authorities oppose parole for man who killed cop

MINNEAPOLIS — Robbinsdale Police Officer John Scanlon was sitting in his patrol car one morning in 1985 when a robbery suspect shot him through his window. Scanlon never spoke to the man, never drew his weapon.

Now, a group of authorities in Minnesota are opposing the release of Scanlon's killer, who is scheduled for a parole hearing Monday.

Several authorities have written letters to the Department of Corrections, urging that Ronald Schneider remain behind bars. The coordinated effort comes months after the law enforcement community was stunned when the state granted parole for another man convicted of killing an officer. He, like Schneider, was sentenced under old laws that allow for the possibility of release.

In an April 2 letter to Department of Corrections, Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek wrote that denying parole is good public policy and “sends a clear message that the killing of police officers — our first line of defense and protectors of our society — is both unacceptable and unforgivable.”

Schneider, 70, was sentenced to life in prison under laws that made him eligible for parole after 17 years. State law was changed in 1993, mandating life without parole for those convicted of killing a police officer.