Kentucky Parole Board reverses policy, wants lawsuit dropped

Published 3:58 pm Thursday, July 1, 2021

The Kentucky Parole Board wants a lawsuit over a controversial policy change to be dismissed because the board has reversed the change, which would have given another shot at parole to dozens of inmates ordered to spend the rest of their lives in prison.

The Parole Board said in a motion that the lawsuit filed by Attorney General Daniel Cameron and Commonwealth’s Attorney Jackie Steele is moot since the policy was rescinded.

The board’s old rule allowed the board to issue a “serve out” order when people sentenced to life or life without parole for 25 years had their first parole hearing. The order meant spending the rest of their lives in prison.

But in April, the board changed the policy to say it could no longer issue a serve out order at a first parole hearing and applied the change retroactively. That would have given 45 inmates another chance at parole.

Gov. Andy Beshear appointed Ladeidra Jones last month to replace Lelia Vanhoose, who headed the board when it adopted the controversial change in April. Jones told the Lexington Herald-Leader in a letter that she had rescinded the policy.

Cameron said on Twitter he was glad to see the policy had been rescinded.