[2/15/22] Steele On Prisoner Release Bill
Senate Bill 5036 has been passed onto the State House. If passed and signed into law, it would allow prison inmates to be released before they have served their full sentence, and would allow those serving life sentences to be released after 25 years in prison. Speaking on KOZI last Friday, 12th District State Representative Mike Steele says the bill is a slap in the face to victims of crime and their families:
Opponents of the bill are concerned that convicted killers like Green River killer Gary Ridgeway could be released if the bill becomes law, but prisoner rights advocates said the idea of being locked up for life should be a thing of the past, and that there should be a way for convicts to demonstrate that they are no longer a threat to the community. As for Ridgeway, senate democrats say the bill’s passage would not allow for his release, since his sentencing agreement stipulates that he will not petition the clemency and pardons board, or any successor to it.
The bill passed the senate last week on a party-line vote, 28 to 19, now it’s in the House, where a hearing on the bill is set for Friday in the House Committee on Public Safety.