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Jun 14, 2010 4:32 PM by Melissa Canone

Majority not unanimous vote needed for nonviolent offenders parole

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The parole board's voting rules would be
eased for certain nonviolent offenders who have participated in
rehabilitative programs, under a bill that received final passage
Monday with a 22-7 Senate vote.
The proposal (House Bill 195) by Rep. Fred Mills, D-Parks, would
allow those inmates to receive parole with a majority, rather than
unanimous, support of the parole board.
Sen. Danny Martiny, R-Kenner, who handled the measure in the
Senate, said certain members of the current parole board have
refused to vote for any parole recommendations, no matter the
circumstances.
"We spent all this money on risk review, we spent all this
money on rehabilitation and nobody gets out," Martiny said,
arguing that changes must be made for the system to work as it was
intended.
The bill would only apply to prisoners who haven't been
convicted of a violent crime or a sex offense, haven't committed
any disciplinary offenses in the last year and have completed at
least 100 hours or rehabilitative programming. They also would have
to have a GED certificate or a high school diploma or be deemed
incapable of getting one because of a learning disability.
The measure heads to Gov. Bobby Jindal's desk.

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