If Stevan Dozier becomes Washington state’s first three-strikes felon to be released from his life sentence, he likely will become the state’s most closely watched ex-con. The ominous warning from Margaret Smith, chairwoman of the state Clemency and Pardons Board, came as the board voted 4-0 to recommend clemency for Dozier, who has been in prison since 1994 after becoming one of the state’s first three-strikes felons to be sentenced to life without parole, reports the Seattle Times. The recommendation goes to Gov. Christine Gregoire.
Dozier spoke over the phone from prison, apologizing for his crimes and explaining his future plans. “I feel I am no longer a threat to society,” he said. He explained that the man he was in 1994 “is dead” and “buried in the past.” Dozier was convicted of second-degree robbery in 1994. It was his third felony offense and automatically brought a life sentence under the state’s then-new three strikes law. Dozier, 46, told the board that when he was sentenced to life in prison he decided to improve himself – enrolling in drug and alcohol treatment, getting a minimum-wage job and attending religious services. He soon began mentoring younger prisoners, something he continues to do.