Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – Billy Blake, who is serving 77 years to life in prison for killing an Onondaga County Sheriff’s Deputy and injuring another during an escape attempt in 1987, is being honored by Yale University's Law Journal for an essay he wrote behind bars.
On February 10, 1987, Onondaga County Sheriff's Deputies Bernie Meleski and David Clark were transporting Blake to Dewitt Town Court for an appearance. The inmate reached for a deputy's weapon, pulling it from the holster, and firing several rounds.
Blake shot both deputies, killing Clark and injuring Meleski.
He has been serving his prison sentence at Elmira Correctional Facility, where he wrote an essay called “A Sentence Worse than Death.”The New York Daily News says
the essay outlines Blake’s isolation and boredom wile serving time in prison.
The Yale Law Journal gave the essay an Honorable Mention
in its Prison Law Writing Contest. Blake’s was one of approximately 1,500 entries.
Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick responded to the announcement with the following statement:
"It is truly unfortunate that a prestigious university such as Yale Law School would choose to 'honor' a sociopathic murderer. While the fact that this genetic mutation is 'bored' in prison apparently merits an award from the future barristers at Yale, the People of Onondaga expect that more sensitivity be shown to crime victims and their families. Perhaps the students at Yale can all chip in and send Blake a deck of cards so he can play Solitaire for the next 50 years."