Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Florida: Request (Update)

Charlie Free, a.k.a. Jack Hazen, was arrested in Las Vegas, January 30 after remaining a fugitive for more than 30 years. Hazen was charged with armed robbery in 1976 and sentenced to seven years in prison. But he escaped after serving 1 1/2 years when a fellow inmate put a contract out on his life. Hazen fled to Arizona, changed his name to Free, met his future wife and moved to Nevada. Now he is 62-years-old and suffering from several expensive health issues, including Alzheimer's, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and cancer, which result in prescription expenses of $36,000 per year.

Hazen/Free is currently in Clark County Detention Center in Nevada and waits to see if Florida's governor, Charlie Crist, will sign a warrant for his arrest and kick what would certainly be a lengthy extradition process. Hazen's doctor and family are worried that a cross-country trip will further weaken him. His attorney also believes Florida's current budget problems should be considered before using taxpayer money to transport, house and care for a terminally ill man noting, "My hope is that Gov. Crist will deny the warrant or expedite the commutation of the original sentence." Normally such a process would take three years. Story here.

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