Friday, February 22, 2008
The Arkansas State Parole Board has recommended clemency in four instances, two of which involved inmates serving life sentences. Both of the later recommendations were opposed by prosecutors. Terrance Proctor was 17-years old when he was found guilty of 10 counts of aggravated robbery, one count of robbery, one count of attempt to commit murder and two counts of second-degree battery. Proctor's clemency application says he was "misled and by incompetent counsel to openly plea to the court, which led to the judge venting his displeasure at petitioner's charges and buried petitioner alive in prison at age 17." The application also says his life plus 200 years was "cruel and unusual punishment." Ruth Sumlin stole a car after shooting (and killing) its owner and entered the Columbia County jail on Thanksgiving evening with a gun and knife in order to free her husband. Four other inmates escaped in the process. The Board's recommendations will go to the governor after a 30-day public-notice period. See complete story here.