New Missouri law gives inmates a shot at parole
JEFFERSON CITY- Starting Sunday, a new bill approved by the state Legistlature in May and signed by Gov. Jay Nixon will alllow inmates to exercise their right for freedom.
The law is expected to put a close on what prosecutors called a "giant hole" in the state's sentencing system and bring Missouri in compliance with federal court rulings.
Under the new law, a person who was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for a crime committed before the person turned 18 years is eligible for a parole hearing after serving 25 years.
It is not clear how many inmates will immediately qualify for an opportunity to seek a parole hearing.
For inmates, changing their parole status to comply with the law won't come easy.
Inmates will first have to submit a request to the parole board to review their cases. And, they must already have served 25 years of their sentencing before petitioning the board.