Crime victims accuse Texas Parole Board of circumventing the law

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It’s safe to say notorious Texas killers like Elmer Wayne Henley and Roger Leroy Degarmo will never be paroled.

But yet every three years they along with other killers serving life sentences would still be considered for parole.

Everyone thought that would end after House Bill 1914 became law.

“When they deny someone convicted of capital murder that they don’t have to review them from anywhere from 5, 7 to 10 years,” said crime victims advocate Andy Kahan.

“I was ecstatic,” said Gilda Muskwinsky  who heads up the Houston chapter of Parents of Murdered Children.

So were scores of other crime victims that thought they could have 5 years between parole reviews.

“Every time they come up for parole you relive that loved one’s death,” Muskwinsky said.

Kahan says the parole board is circumventing state law by allowing only three year set offs for dozens of capital murder offenders.

“Everything that we did everything that we fought for you pretty much debunked and just basically trashed,” Kahan said.

The parole board tells Fox26 the statute never restricted them to a 5 7 or 10 year set off.

The parole board’s statement goes on to say, “in a public and posted board meeting the board changed the board rule to also allow for a 3 year set off. The board did not circumvent the law the previous and existing board rules are in compliance with statute.

“That floored me,” Kahan said. “That shouldn’t happen.”

Get this.

Between February 1st 2016 through December 31st 2016 24 percent of all the capital murder offenders reviewed for parole got 3 year set offs.

“You owe the victims of this state an explanation as to why you did what you did,” Kahan said.

The parole board tells us it did initially adopt and approve a 5 7 and 10 year set off for capital murder and aggravated assault convictions.

But after implementing it board members say they decided a 3 year set off option would be beneficial in certain circumstances.   

 

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