Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Hearings to examine revised parole rules



The Associated Press

CLEVELAND - Thousands of Ohio inmates will get a chance for quicker release when hearings begin in March on revamped parole rules ordered by the Ohio Supreme Court.

It could take up to a year to complete the hearings. Parole board chairman Gary Croft predicted that some prisoners would be released as a result of the hearings. "I would expect some to be released, definitely," he said. "But as to how many, it's going to be case by case."

The court, in a ruling Dec. 18, ordered the nine-member parole board to halt a practice of calculating hearing dates based on the offenses for which prisoners were indicted, instead of offenses for which the inmates were convicted.

A preliminary report by the parole board indicates that 5,214 prisoners may have been misclassified based on indictments, not convictions. Croft said he expects the number to be slightly lower.

The board has identified 172 inmates who have filed lawsuits as "priority" cases, records show.




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