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We were roughly about the same age though he looked

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Unformatted text preview: ed they needed time to regroup in a back room and count their money. Perhaps Mr. Padgitt could be summoned to provide some extra cash for a Board member or two. To irritate the Board attorney, I scribbled pages of notes for the report he'd prohibited me from writing. We waited thirty minutes before they filed back in, everyone looking guilty of something. Jeter called for a vote. Two voted in favor of parole, two against, one abstained. "Parole is denied at this time," Jeter announced, and Mrs. Padgitt burst into tears. She hugged Danny before they took him away. Lucien and the Padgitts walked by, very close to me as they left the room. I ignored them and just stared at the floor, exhausted, hungover, shocked at the denial. "Next we have Charles D. Bowie," Jeter announced, and there was movement around the tables as the next hopeful was brought in. I caught something about a sex offender, but I was too drained to care. I eventually left the room and walked down the hallway, half-expecting to be confronted by the Padgitts, and that was fine too because I preferred to get it over with. But they had scattered; there was no sign of them as I left the building and drove through the main gate and back to Clanton. Chapter Thirty-Four The parole hearing was front page news inThe Ford County Times. I loaded the report with every detail I could remember, and on page five let loose with a blistering editorial about the process. I sent a copy to each member of the Parole Board and to its attorney, and, because I was so worked up, every member of the state legislature, the Attorney General, the Lieutenant Governor, and the Governor received a complimentary copy. Most ignored it, but the attorney for the Parole Board did not. He wrote me a lengthy letter in which he said he was deeply concerned about my "willful violation of Parole Board procedures." He was pondering a session with the Attorney General in which they would "evaluate the gravity of my actions" and possibly pursue action that would lea...
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