Montana Parole Board Adopts Policy for New Clemency Law

Since the law took effect on Oct. 1, officials say they have received five requests for clemency

By Dillon Tabish

DEER LODGE — The Montana Board of Pardons and Parole has adopted a policy on how it will implement a new law that allows the governor to grant clemency to prisoners even if the board recommends against it.

The Great Falls Tribune reports that under the new policy, adopted Wednesday, if there is no new information in an application for clemency the panel can rely on existing records and move the application along. If the application is new, the board staff will have to review it and report to the panel, which can request an investigation.

Since the law took effect on Oct. 1, officials say they have received five requests for clemency, including one from Barry Beach, who inspired the change.

Gov. Steve Bullock supported commuting the life sentence of convicted murderer Beach. The board declined to forward a clemency recommendation.

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