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Dying Inmate Granted Parole by Iowa Parole Board

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Kristina Fetters was convicted of murdering her 73-year-old great aunt, Arlene Klehm, in 1995. Fetters was only 15-years-old when she was charged with first-degree murder, which was the youngest age for a prisoner in Iowa at the time. That was 18 years ago. Thirty-three-year old Fetters was diagnosed with Stage 4 inoperable breast cancer in September. As a result of the diagnosis, efforts have been made on behalf of the inmate to secure her release.

Members of the community have been so passionate about this case that an online petition was created to encourage officials (the Iowa State Parole Board and Governor Branstad) to release Fetters. The petition, which is available here was able to secure 1,141 signatures. A December 3rd update on the petition website read as follows: “Today, Krissy was paroled; she will be going to a hospice. Thank you to everyone who signed this petition. Working, praying, and supporting her together is what got her released. Thank you all again.”

During a November 20th hearing, the courts recommended a release. “Kristina Fetters is rehabilitated and has redeemed herself. The court recommends to the parole board that the defendant be released immediately from custody because of her poor health condition and prognosis.”

Fred Scaletta, who is the spokesman for the Iowa Department of Corrections, spoke about the process involved when deciding whether to release an inmate where the well-being of the general public is also considered. “The parole board always looks at public safety. Considering her medical condition, she is not really a threat to public safety,” Scaletta said.

On Tuesday, the Iowa Parole Board decided to release Fetters to hospice where she will be permitted to remain unless her medical condition changes. Scaletta explained that Fetters will still be subjected to “intense supervision, including regular contact from a parole officer.”

Denise Fetters said that she plans to be near her daughter during this time. “She needs a momma’s support and prayers, so that’s where I’m going to be,” Denise said.

[Image Via NDN]

Dying Inmate Granted Parole by Iowa Parole Board
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  • Well

    There are lots of people in prison who are not threats to anyone. Half the prison population could be released and people would be just as safe. What people think goes on in or courtrooms and what really goes on is two totally different things. We lock up more than any country in the world. We lock up more than any other country in the history of the world. We still have the worst crime rates. It is obvious that what we are doing is not working.

    Prison effects generations. It effects entire families. It should be only used as a last resort, but that is not what happens in courtrooms. All district attorneys do is force pleas …. one after the other …. people are threatened and they plead guilty. Then if a person goes to trial, the court selects the most biased people they can find to serve on juries. Unless you have money, it is nearly impossible to win a court case.

    I work in a courtroom and I see it ever day.

    If you know a felon, give them a break because odds are that he or she either did not commit their crime and were forced to plead guilty or their crime was blown out of proportion. Don’t get me wrong – there are bad people, but it is not nearly as many as you think.

    Don’t buy into the hype you see about police on TV. You know what I mean — all those cop dramas and the nightly news always doing a segment about how great the police are. Police will turn on you in a heart beat and today’s cops are not the good guys that used to exist in the 50s. I deal with them in court too and honestly, you are better off staying away from a cop. Heck, cops have the highest rate of domestic violence in the country. There is a reason why that is. Their domestic violence rate dwarfs combat soldiers. It is because they are control freaks. It never used to be as bad as it is today. Things have gotten out of control in the country. Doubt what I say? Call the cops and see how messed up your life gets.

    Who knows? Maybe I will one day see you in court pleading guilty to something you didn’t do.

  • @Well

    You are 100% right. What people think happens and what really does happen is two totally different things.

    I was like most people. I work a professional job and never got in trouble. I used to think cops were great and that criminals were bad. Then a friend of mine got arrested and went to prison. I then saw just how messed up our justice system is and just how awful those in authority really are. My problem was that I never took the time to look into courts and prisons because my life was going well. When my friend went to prison, I stood beside him and got a close look at things. I was appalled. In the US, anyone can go to prison for anything.

    Guilt or innocence does not matter. Like you said, most people are forced to plead guilty. That is what DAs are taught to do. Force as many guilty pleas as you can. What people see on TV are the cases were the people are clearly guilty. The guy who locks three women in his basement for 30 years. What the TV never shows you is the hundreds of average ordinary cases. They never ever show you those.

    Me not knowing was my fault because I never thought about anything but my own little life. I am not a big Christian, but I do believe in Christ. I am constantly haunted by statement “I was in prison and you visited me.” The reason why I am haunted is that for years I thought that just meant to be caring for those in hard times. As I have gone through this experience, I now realize that it has a dual meaning. It means go to the prisons and see what is happening. See the suffering. God and Christ knew the corruption in the system. We forget —- Christ was a convict. If a kangaroo court would convict Christ, they sure as hell would convict someone like me or the reader of my comment. Christ was no dummy. His perspective on life is simply perfect. I am not a saint. I am not a bible thumper. But after what I saw with my friend, I came to realize that everything Christ stands for is good. When he says go to the prisons —- go. When he says forgive —- forgive. When he says give mercy — do it.

    Show mercy to those in prison and felons in our world. Guilt or innocence does not matter in American courtrooms. Do what Christ said. Give mercy and forgive. Forgive. Forgive. I am getting older and I don’t have much life left. Take it from a man who has seen just about everything —- the world around us is an illusion. The people you think are so good aren’t the people you think are so bad arent that bad. Your only hope to preserve your soul is to do what Christ said.

    You don’t even have to believe in Christ to realize this. All you have to do is live life. One day, you will realize all the things you believed in aren’t exactly what you thought they were. You will then come to find that everything Christ told you to believe in is all that is really worth it.