Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm has freed 100 prisoners in the last two years — including 55 last year — and is on pace to commute more sentences than her three predecessors combined, reports the Detroit Free Press. Most of Granholm’s early commutations were for medical reasons; none went to killers. In the last two years, the former federal prosecutor and attorney general has freed dozens convicted of violent crimes — including at least 38 in prison for murder. That has prompted some victims’ families to wonder about promises made that the people who killed their loved ones would die in prison.
“I am very focused,” Granholm told the newspaper, on commuting only those who “pose no danger.” In Detroit, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy disagrees, saying the process has been rushed, and conducted “under the cover of night.” When her office has expressed opposition to commutations, Worthy said, “I don’t think they pay a lot of attention to what we say.” Granholm says she considers many factors, including the nature of the crime, the prisoner’s age, health, prison record, remorse and his or her prospects on the outside. “There is no hard and fast rule about who is in and who is out,” Granholm said of the accelerating pace of commutations she has approved as she nears the end of her second and final term in office.