The Pardon and Parole Board can continue its practice of treating some offenders’ crimes as violent even though the offenses are not included in two statutory lists of violent crimes, board members were informed Monday.
Tracy George, Pardon and Parole Board interim executive director, said a recent attorney general’s opinion reaffirmed the practice of treating some crimes as violent although they are not among the violent offenses listed in statute.
The Constitution grants the board the authority to grant parole to offenders convicted only of non-violent offenses. The board may make parole recommendations to the governor for those convicted of violent offenses.
In addition to the two statutory lists of violent crimes, the board must also consider whether the crime is defined or identified as violent in another provision of law; if the language of the criminal statute demonstrates that the crime comes within a class of crimes defined as violent; and whether the crime defined as violent by the courts.
Domestic abuse, for example, appears on neither list, the opinion notes, but should be considered a violent crime by its definition, which includes the term “assault and battery.”
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