Willie Bosket was fifteen when he murdered a man in a New York subway which would lead to changes on how juveniles are tried for murder. According to court documents Willie Bosket murdered the first man in the subway during a robbery and would murder another man eight days later. Bosket would plead guilty to both murders and would be sentenced to five years in prison which was the maximum at the time. Due to the short sentence many people were upset which led to a law change where juveniles as young as thirteen years old could be tried as an adult. A year after he was sentenced Willie Bosket would escape from custody and when he was arrested he was charged as an adult for an assault that took place during the 100 days he was on the run and sentenced to an additional seven years in prison. Over the decades since this teen killer would assault a number of correctional guards and inmates and picked up sentences which would push his release date til 2062.
Willie Bosket 2019 Information
|DIN (Department Identification Number)||84A6391|
|Inmate Name||BOSKET, WILLIE|
|Date of Birth||12/09/1962|
|Race / Ethnicity||BLACK|
|Custody Status||IN CUSTODY|
|Housing / Releasing Facility||FIVE POINTS|
|Date Received (Original)||10/23/1984|
|Date Received (Current)||09/17/1986|
|Admission Type||RETURN FROM ANOTHER AGENCY|
|County of Commitment||NEW YORK|
Willie Bosket Other News
He is one of New York’s most isolated prisoners, spending 23 hours a day for the past two decades in a 9-by-6-foot cell. The only trimmings are a cot and a sink-toilet combination. His visitors — few as they are — must wedge into a nook outside his cell and speak to him through a 1-by-3-foot window of foggy plexiglass and iron bars.
In this static existence, Willie Bosket, 45, seems to have gone from defiant menace to subdued and empty inmate.
It was 30 years ago this month that a state law took effect allowing juveniles to be tried as adults, largely in response to Mr. Bosket’s slaying of two people on a New York subway when he was 15. He served only five years in jail for that crime because he was a juvenile, sparking public outrage. But shortly after completing his sentence, Mr. Bosket was arrested for assaulting a 72-year-old man.
He once claimed to be at “war” with prison officials. He said he laughed at the system and claimed to have committed more than 2,000 crimes as a child. He set fire to his cell and attacked guards. Mr. Bosket was sentenced to 25 years to life for stabbing a guard in the visitors’ room in 1988, along with other offenses, leading prison authorities to make him virtually the most restricted inmate in the state.
Now Mr. Bosket, who has gone 14 years without a disciplinary violation, does mainly three things: read, sleep and think.
“Just blank” is how Mr. Bosket described his existence during a recent interview at Woodbourne Correctional Facility, about 75 miles north of Manhattan. “Everything is the same every day. This is hell. Always has been.”
He is scheduled to remain isolated from the general prison population until 2046.
Mr. Bosket’s seclusion is part of a bigger debate over the confinement of troublesome inmates and the role of the prison system. Some say that Mr. Bosket’s level of seclusion is draconian, that he should be given an opportunity to rejoin the general population.
“He is a very dangerous person; he’s killed people,” said Jo Allison Henn, a lawyer who helped represent Mr. Bosket roughly 20 years ago when he fought unsuccessfully to have some of his restrictions removed. “I’m not saying he should be released from custody entirely, just the custody that he is in. It is beyond inhumane. I don’t think that too many civilized countries do that.”
But proponents of Mr. Bosket’s restrictions say he has proved to be something of an incorrigible danger to prison guards and other inmates and cannot be trusted in the general population. He is evaluated periodically, meaning he could rejoin the general prison population before 2046, said Erik Kriss, a spokesman for the State Department of Correctional Services.
“This guy was violent or threatening violence practically every day,” Mr. Kriss said. “Granted, it has been a while, but there are consequences for being violent in prison. We have zero tolerance for that.”
From 1985 to 1994, Mr. Bosket was written up nearly 250 times for disciplinary violations that included spitting on guards, throwing food and swallowing the handle of a spoon, according to prison reports.
Few, if any, of the state’s current inmates have been in disciplinary housing longer than Mr. Bosket, said Linda Foglia, a spokeswoman for the corrections department.