In the state of Maryland, prison inmates serving life sentences can only be granted parole by final decree from the governor. Even for elderly inmates at high risk of COVID-19 infection, as well as inmates who were sentenced to life in prison when they were juveniles, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has refused to use this power to grant parole to many who desperately need it. The SB0202 bill, which is currently being debated in the Maryland legislature, would repeal this rule, putting decision-making power in the hands of a parole commission.
In a recent episode of “Rattling the Bars” (originally published on March 22, 2021), TRNN Executive Producer Eddie Conway spoke with guests Pamela Sessoms, whose incarcerated fiancé contracted COVID-19 inside a Maryland prison, and Marc Schindler, the executive director of the Justice Policy Institute, about this parole policy. To give viewers context for the debate currently happening around SB0202 and why it’s important, we have compiled sections from that conversation here.
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Eddie Conway