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Joel Steinberg (born May 25, 1941), a former New York criminal defense attorney, attracted international media attention when he was accused of murder in the November 2, 1987, death of a six-year-old girl, Elizabeth ("Lisa"), whom he had allegedly adopted under false pretenses. (Steinberg had reportedly been hired to locate a suitable adoptive family for Lisa, but instead took the child and raised her himself despite never having filed formal adoption papers.)

Steinberg was specifically accused of hitting Lisa on the head and then not seeking medical attention for the child, supposedly because he was under the influence of cocaine. Lisa and a younger boy adopted by Steinberg later, named Mitchell, 18 months old at the time of Lisa's death, were living with Steinberg and his lover, Hedda Nussbaum, at the time; both the younger child and Nussbaum also showed signs of being physically abused, but at Steinberg's trial, it was suggested that Nussbaum's bruises were as the result of a consensual sadomasochistic relationship the two had been carrying on. (In exchange for her testimony against Steinberg, Nussbaum was granted immunity from prosecution and was never charged with any crime in the case.)

Unable to convict Steinberg on the most serious charge of second-degree murder (in New York State at that time, first degree murder applied only to those who killed police officers or had committed murder while already serving a sentence for a previous murder), the jury instead convicted him of the second most serious charge, first-degree manslaughter. The judge then sentenced him to the maximum penalty then available for that charge, 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison.

On two occasions, Steinberg was denied discretionary parole, mainly because he never expressed remorse for the killing. However, on June 30, 2004, he was paroled under the state's "good time" law, which mandates release of inmates who exhibit good behavior while incarcerated after having served as little as two-thirds of the maximum possible sentence (New York State has since increased this ratio to six-sevenths of the maximum term for persons convicted of violent felonies).

Ironically, in spite of his good behavior, Steinberg had spent most of his imprisonment at New York State's "Supermax" prison, the Southport Correctional Facility, but this was presumably done in order to prevent him from being attacked by other inmates.

Meanwhile, the other child in the case ended up being adopted by his natural mother, Nicole Smigel, who then legally changed the boy's first name to Travis. The child was raised in Suffolk County on eastern Long Island.

The case was adapted with modifications as a Law & Order episode, "Indifference," which ended with a long disclaimer that was read aloud pointing out the actual conclusion of the real case.

AnswerSteinberg was denied parol 5 times because he did not show remorse for what he has done. Steinberg was released after doing 16 years of a 25 year sentence. He walks the streets of Manhattan, "working his ass off", so he states when he really should be rotting away in jail.
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โˆ™ 2011-03-24 03:20:29
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