Most of the men and women who have been released since 1995 in Missouri after serving long prison sentences have stayed out of trouble, says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. More than two-thirds of the roughly 400 Missouri inmates who were sentenced to 25 years or more in prison have not returned to prison. Most of those who did return were convicted of nonviolent offenses.
The failures can be extremely troubling, however. Two men were returned after being convicted of new first-degree murder charges. One was convicted of rape with a weapon, one with sodomy, and three with first-degree robbery charges. The Post-Dispatch says the success stories are rewarding. David Ross, who was sentenced to 120 years in prison in 1982, was paroled in 2004, and nine trips to the parole board. Now working at a laundry, I’m not a danger to nobody,” Ross said. On the other hand, Kansas City jurors wanted to give Michael L. Farris 440 years in prison for a series of crimes. His conviction was overturned, he was released after 19 years in prison, and he then was convicted of killing a woman during a burglary.