Blog: Parole for life sentences changed – again

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Maryland correctional services shoulder patchAfter a final vote on amendments Thursday evening, a bill before the House of Delegates again requires the governor to take action to keep people serving life prison sentences behind bars if they are recommended for parole.

The bill gives the governor 90 days to act on parole recommendations for people serving life prison sentences. If the governor does not take action in that time frame, the bill would automatically grant the inmate parole.

The Senate-passed version of the bill gave the governor 180 days.

On Tuesday, Del. John Olszewski, D-Baltimore County, offered an amendment to the bill that would leave the inmate in prison the governor does not take action. The amendment passed by a single vote, with a 67-66 tally.

Del. Michael Vaughn, D-Prince George’s County, moved to reconsider the vote.

Thursday’s reconsideration vote came at the end of a grueling six-hour floor session. People who opposed the motion attempted to rehash the lengthy debate, but they were quickly quelled with groans and speedy motions to stop the discussion.

With a 61-76 vote, the bill was changed back to the way it was at the beginning of the week.

The House will have a final vote on the bill on Friday.

–Megan Poinski
Megan@MarylandReporter.com