Friday, August 8, 2008

Thrown away by the system

Views in brief
August 8, 2008

REGARDING THE story on life without the possibility of parole ("Living in hell for life"): I would also like to say that even if an inmate is parole eligible, the chances here in Florida, and in many other states, are basically slim-to-none that they'll actually ever get paroled.

My husband for example, was given a 25-to-life sentence for being a witness to a murder. This was back in 1983 and he was only 17 years old.

After 25 years, he had his first parole hearing. The parole commissioners make their decisions well in advance of the hearing. They only look at the ancient crime and anything negative, no matter how minor (smoking in a non-smoking area in 1998, for example). They never look at the positive accomplishments that the inmate has made, the support from loved ones or friends, or release plans.

So no matter what is said in support of an inmate, the parole commission will always find reasons to keep the inmate in prison.

I was told by a commissioner during a private meeting the day before my husband's hearing that because my husband has made so many accomplishments, that "it would be best to keep him in prison just a little while longer so he could help to rehabilitate other inmates."

Afterward, I met with another commissioner. This one said "life means life!"

The end result? They gave my husband a presumptive parole release date of 2100! This, for a crime that he never committed!

This is one of thousands of horror stories that goes on here in Florida. Furthermore, these inmates are supposed to have their parole hearings every two years (except for the extreme cases). Instead, they are being given five-year set offs across the board.

Why is the parole commission doing this? The answer is simple. To keep their high-paying jobs--not to protect "public safety" as they want the public to believe.

It's gotten so bad here, that we even have a prison for the elderly! What harm can these inmates do?

The parole commission is only paroling 1 percent per year. Obviously this is to show that they are releasing some inmates. So even if the inmate is parole eligible, it still means a life sentence for most.
Grace Dark Horse, Davie, Fla.

No comments: