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Unformatted text preview: ;You gotta be kidding!" "Nope. I just found out. Evidently, they don't advertise these." I sat in the darkness for a long time, cursing once again the backwardness of a state that conducted such important matters in such ridiculous ways. How could parole even be considered for Danny Padgitt? Eight years had passed since the murder and his conviction. He had received two life sentences of at least ten years each. We assumed that meant a minimum of twenty years. I drove home around 3 A.M., slept fitfully for two hours, then woke up Harry Rex, who was in no condition to be dealt with. I picked up sausage biscuits and strong coffee and we met at his office around seven. We were both ill-tempered, and as we plowed through his law books there were sharp words and foul language, not aimed at each other, but at the blurry and toothless parole system passed by the legislature thirty years earlier. Guidelines were only vaguely defined, leaving ample wiggle room for the politicians and their appointees to do as they wished. Since most law-abiding citizens had no contact with the parole system, it was not a priority with the state legislature. And since most of the state's prisoners were either poor or black, and unable to use the system to their advantage, it was easy to hit them with harsh sentences and keep them locked up. But for an inmate with a few connections and some cash, the parole system was a marvelous labyrinth of contradictory laws that allowed the Parole Board to pass out favors. Somewhere between the judicial system, the penal system, and the parole system, Danny Padgitt's two "consecutive" life terms had been changed to two "concurrent" sentences. They ran side by side, Harry Rex tried to explain. "What good is that?" I asked. "It's used in cases where a defendant has multiple charges. Consecutive might give him eighty years in jail, but a fair sentence is ten. So they run 'em side by side." I shook my head in disapproval again, and this irritated him. I finally got Sheriff Tryce McNatt to answer the phone. He sounded as hung over as we were, though he was a strict teetotaler. McNatt knew nothin...
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This note was uploaded on 07/18/2010 for the course LIT 301 taught by Professor Dra during the Spring '10 term at American College of Computer & Information Sciences.
- Spring '10