Criminal Justice

the Wang family

Before Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire leaves office in January, she will decide whether to commute the life sentence of convicted killer Barry Massey. His attorneys hope this week’s Supreme Court ruling on life without parole for juveniles will bolster their case for clemency.

During Washington’s recent legislative session, lawmakers briefly considered a bill to bring back parole for prisoners. The measure failed to move out of committee. But supporters already plan to try again next year.

The sentence of ‘life without the possibility of parole’ is steadily on the rise in U.S. prisons. Here In Washington, nearly 600 prisoners are currently serving ‘life without’. Most of them will grow old and die behind bars. It’s a prospect that’s tough to fathom.

In this collaboration with the Seattle Times, we take a look at how some ‘lifers’ come to grips with this reality….and how they search for meaning in a situation most people see as hopeless. KUOW’s Liz Jones has our story from Monroe prison.

Photo courtesy of Conservation Northwest

TWISP, Wash. -- A Twisp, Washington man has changed his plea to guilty in a high-profile federal wolf poaching case. As part of a plea agreement, the 62-year-old man will not go to prison. The lack of jail time greatly disappoints a conservation group. Correspondent Tom Banse has more on the story.

Photo by Wikipedia user: 350z33 / Wikipedia

SALEM, Ore. – The U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday heard arguments about whether killers in their early teens can receive life sentences without the possibility of parole. Meanwhile, in Oregon, five teenage murderers are getting a chance at an earlier release date. The first of those young killers went before the Oregon Parole Board Tuesday. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman was there.

Wash. Lawmakers Propose New DUI Penalties

Feb 23, 2012
Photo credit: Wikimedia User Jay8g / Wikimedia Commons

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers are taking a multi-faceted approach to crack down on drunk driving. These proposals would increase jail time and other penalties. Another measure could require a drunk driver who kills a parent to pay child support for the surviving children. That proposal had a hearing Wednesday. Azusa Uchikura has more from Olympia.

Photo credit Wikimedia Commons

SALEM, Ore. – The new head of the Oregon Department of Corrections says she's preparing to close multiple prisons in order to address a funding shortfall. Colette Peters announced the possible actions in an email to agency staff. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers are considering a plan to save money by abolishing the death penalty in the state. That idea got a hearing today in Olympia. Karil Klingbeil testified in support of the ban. Her sister, Candy Hemmig, was murdered 30 years ago in Olympia. The killer, Mitchell Rupe was dubbed “the man too fat to hang.” He initially got the death penalty, but after 20 years of appeals, received a life sentence instead. Klingbeil testified about the anger she used to feel.