Though the U.S. Justice Department initially declined to respond to Behenna's petition, the high court asked for a government response.
Vicki Behenna said the Supreme Court agrees to hear very few cases, but she said she was encouraged the justices wanted a response from the government.
“It's not just Michael's case that's being litigated,” she said. “It's whether soldiers have the right to act in self-defense. We think that's an issue of national importance.”
Brett Behenna said the five-person parole board was interested in what Michael Behenna would do if released and where he would live.
Vicki Behenna said Michael wants to pursue a degree in Spanish language and has expressed interest in becoming a rancher.
Michael Behenna can ask for clemency every year. He received a five-year reduction of his sentence in 2010.
Letter of support
Also attending the hearing on Thursday were two top aides to Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City.
The entire Oklahoma congressional delegation submitted a letter to the board, asking that members take into consideration Behenna's personal development, the unique nature of the case and sentences given in similar cases.