For Oklahoma parole board, case was ‘worst nightmare’

SONYA COLBERG Modified: June 24, 2009 at 12:48 am •  Published: June 24, 2009
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Ba
llard said he didn’t recall Earls’ case because the inmate didn’t appear in person and was one of about 800 parole cases that the board considers monthly.

Miller said Earls apparently has terminal cancer and is expected to live about three years. The board wouldn’t release medical backup material, citing federal guidelines.

No clues for board
"When he came up back then, there wasn’t any kind of sexual issues in his background ... anything to indicate he might do what he later did,” said Terry Jenks, Pardon and Parole Board director. "The medical request from DOC (Department of Corrections) might have had a lot to do with why he got recommended for parole the second time he came up.”

Ballard said the board can’t stop giving some inmates another chance.

"It’s a parole board member’s worst nightmare when a person has been given the benefit of doubt on an early release, and they go out and re-offend, recommit a crime or even a worse crime,” Ballard said.

"When you think you’ve got a system on predicting human behavior, you’re sure as the world to find out it’s wrong.”


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