Orange County Criminal Defense

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Murderer Granted Parole

May 5, 2012

Fred Thiagarajah

Convicted murderer Jeanette Hughes, 58, was granted parole by the parole board at her fifth parole hearing.   Hughes had been convicted of first degree murder in Orange County in 1986 for hiring a hitman to kill her husband in order to collect his life insurance policy.

For the full story, click here.  Hughes was sentenced to a term of 26 years to life which means that she would be eligible for parole after serving at least 26 years of her sentence.  Although Hughes would’ve been eligible for parole as of the year 2002, the parole board does not often grant parole to convicted murderers.  Although the parole board has granted parole to Hughes now, Governor Brown has until April 15th to reject her parole.

In California, the governor has the power to reject a parole board’s grant of parole in life cases where the defendant has committed murder.  In other life cases, the governor can only ask the parole board to re-review their decision in an attempt to get the parole board to either rescind or modify the grant of parole.

In the year 2011, Governor Brown’s first year in office, the parole board conducted approximately 5650 parole hearings and granted parole to approximately 463 life-sentenced inmates.  Of those life grants, Governor Brown allowed 331 convicted murderers to parole.  By comparison, Governor Schwarzenegger allowed 73 convicted murderers to parole in his first year and Governor Davis only allowed 8 convicted murderers to parole in his entire term in office.


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