Washington State Gov. Christine Gregoire has praised the Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision for changing the rules governing the transfer of out-of-state felons, reports the Seattle Times. The old rules were sharply criticized after the slayings of four Lakewood, Wa., police officers last year. The rule changes, pushed by Gregoire and her corrections chief, Eldon Vail, will make it easier to return out-of-state probationers and parolees home for misbehavior.
That was a key issue in the case of Maurice Clemmons, the Arkansas parolee who moved to Washington and killed the four Lakewood police officers in November. In the months proceeding the tragedy, Washington had tried to get Arkansas to take Clemmons back based on the eight felony charges he racked up during fits of violence and delusion in Washington. The commission, which oversees a 50-state agreement on the flow of supervised felons, will give “receiving states” — those who accept another state’s felon on supervision, or parole — more background information on the incoming offender. That, too, was an issue with Clemmons, as Washington was unaware of some of Clemmons’ criminal history when it accepted his case in 2004. Gregoire unilaterally stopped accepting felon transfers from Arkansas after the Lakewood shootings.