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New law allows state parole board to deny hearings for up to five years for some convicts

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Posted at 8:22 PM, Mar 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-11 20:22:29-05

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed two bills into law Friday that allow the state's parole board to deny parole hearings by up to five years for some convicts.

Supporters say the change is a big win for victims of heinous crimes. House Bills 4562 and 4563 were introduced by State Representatives Angela Witwer and Sarah Lightner.

The lawmakers worked across the aisle on the effort to change Michigan laws that required all prisoners go before the parole board every year. Critics of the old system say it punished the victims, but today's change will protect them.

“Understand this is going to be for a handful of defendants," said Eaton County prosecuting attorney Doug Lloyd. "It's very narrow and strict of the parole board’s use of this particular bill, but the lasting effect this has for the victims is really the tremendous part.”

Under the new law, the parole board would have to vote to deny hearings and would also have to provide a report to the state legislature to account for the times and reasons they chose to use this new clause.

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