state Parole Board
today denied a parole for Tim Howard
, a former Death Row inmate sentenced in a retrial to a term that should have made him eligible for immediate parole.
KATV's Angela Rachels said the parole board denied parole for two years "based on age of victim, seriousness of crime, and death involved."
I expect more legal developments in time. As Mara Leveritt has reported,
Howard's death sentence was overturned. He was convicted at a new trial in Little River County of second-degree murder and sentenced to 38 years after it was explained to the jury that the sentence could lead to Howard's qualification for release, counting good time, after serving less than 10 years. He's been in prison for 17 years. But the state has fought parole for Howard and granting him good time, though he has an unblemished record.
Howard was found guilty of second-degree murder in the 1997 deaths of both Brian and Shannon Day
and guilty of second-degree attempted murder of their infant son, Trevor
. Now 17, Trevor testified at the trial.Howard had been a friend of the Days and was present at the hospital for the birth of their son. The prosecution continued the deaths grew out of disputes over drug and other deals.
Mara Leveritt sends this comment:
With this,Tim can safely be called a political prisoner.
The judge and now the parole board overruled both the jury and state sentencing guidelines.
There was courage in that jury room when someone said, in essence, we're all going to sign this instruction that doesn't need to be signed.
I feel bad for Tim and bad for those jurors who reached a difficult decision after a two-week trial, only to be shown this contempt.