HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Being paroled from prison is not a right it’s a privilege and every convicted criminal is told the same thing upon their release: Break the law and you will go back to prison.
But we know for a fact that’s not happening and at least three people have paid the ultimate price for questionable decisions made by the parole board.
“This is a violent offender who a jury assessed a life sentence,” said crime victims advocate Andy Kahan when describing 55-year-old Michael Susberry.
Susberry was paroled after serving 20 years.
Not even a violent conviction that he served jail time for was enough for the parole board to send him back to prison.
He’s now charged in the murder of 79-year-old Janiel Bernard.
Back in March of last year we told you about Kiara Taylor.
“Not one not two but three convictions in less than two years,”Kahan said.
Just days after being released from jail for his third conviction Taylor allegedly murdered 19-year-old Peter Milkie.
That would not have happened if the parole board would have revoked Taylor for his new crimes and sent him back to prison.
Then in July of 2016 we told you about parolee Leroy Stoots.
“This was a guy who was on parole for murder,” Kahan said. “Did 21 years out of a 45 year sentence.”
After serving jail time for a drug conviction he too was allowed to remain on parole.
He’s now charged in the murder of Kumba Sesay.
All three of these alleged killers also had multiple parole violations in addition to new crimes.
Still the parole board decided not to revoke.
These three alleged killers on parole are just the ones we’ve uncovered.
“There has to be more we keep finding them," Kahan said.
We discovered through a public information request that between 2011 and 2016 more than 9 thousand parolees here in Harris County committed new crimes and about half of them were not revoked and sent back to prison.
Is it a stretch to say the parole board is responsible for these murders?
"The decision was in their hands," Kahan said. "These are decisions that they made."
We asked parole board spokesman Raymond Estrada why Susberry wasn’t revoked after committing a new violent crime.
He didn’t answer that question.
He just gave the same response we’ve been hearing for months now.
That the parole board carefully considers a variety of factors when rendering decisions.