A horrific area slaying has cast a pall over the Massachusetts Parole Board and underscored just how high the stakes can be when weighing whether to give a convicted murderer, no matter how seemingly reformed and remorseful, a second chance, the Boston Globe reports. The arrest of Edward Corliss, paroled in 2006 and now charged in the shooting death of a convenience store clerk, has prompted the panel to conduct an internal review of how it handled the case. On average, board members hold more than 1,300 hearings a year – sometimes as many as 20 a day, says executive director Donald Giancioppo.
Every day, individual board members convene hearings at county jails for people serving relatively short sentences. For more serious crimes, two or three board members participate. The full board votes on the roughly 100 requests for parole made each year by “lifers,'' prisoners serving sentences for second-degree murder. Board members, paid $80,000 to $100,000 a year, drive an average of 23,000 miles a year. The board paroles about two-thirds of the inmates who appear before it each year–about 6,000 convicts. Giancioppo said the Corliss case marked the only time in his 13 years at the board that a paroled murderer was charged with another killing.