Spitzer Law Blog

Spitzer Law Blog

News & Views on Victims' RIghts

Spitzer Law Office Clients Win Significant Parole Denial in the Berlyn Cosman Prom Night Murder Case After a Prior Grant of Parole




I prepare my clients, Morgan Cosman Kelly and her mother, Susan Cosman, at the Deuel State Prison in Tracy moments before they confront Berlyn Cosman's murderer after 20 years.

By Todd Spitzer, Attorney at Law and Marsy's Law Attorney

On September 19, 2012, after waiting nearly 20 years to confront Paul Crowder who murdered Berlyn Cosman, Morgan Cosman Kelly and Susan Cosman travelled to Deuel State Prison in Tracy, CA to participate in his parole consideration hearing under Marsy's Law.  They received a five year denial.

I was retained by the Cosman Family after Morgan read in a Glendale, CA newspaper that her sister's murderer, Paul Crowder, had been given a parole date by the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH).  Morgan was always led to believe the Crowder was given a no parole sentence.  Unbeknowst to Morgan (who was just a child at the time of her sister's death), her father had been receiving notice of the parole hearings, but did not share it with Morgan, trying to protect her.

I was able to convince Governor Brown to reverse the BPH which he did.  So on September 19, after two decades, sister and mom confronted Crowder and convinced the BPH that Crowder was still a danger to the community and should not be let out.  They won!

The lesson: crime victims must participate in these hearings with the assistance of an experienced lawyer to make the arguments to the BPH which will meet the legal standard that is required for a denial.

Susan Cosman was so traumatized by this experience that she suffered "transient amnesia" and had to be hospitalized.  She has now made a full recovery, but has no recollection of testifying or personally confronting Paul Crowder.

Read the full article here:


This was why in writing Marsy's Law we added 15,10 and 5 year denials as an option for the BPH.  Why should a victim have to go through this stress time and time again?

If you have any questions about BPH hearings please contact me through www.spitzerlawoffice.com

Forgot your password?