Iowa's Gov. Terry Branstad is holding a rare public hearing to gather input on whether he should free an inmate who has been widely credited with turning his life around while in prison for murder.
66-old Rasberry Williams is serving a life sentence for the 1974 fatal shooting of a neighbor. His bid to have his sentence commuted to a set number of years so he can become eligible for parole has won the backing of prison wardens, the prosecutor who convicted him and the judge who oversaw his trial.
But the only opinion that matters is Branstad's, who called for Wednesday's hearing to allow the public to sound off on the parole board's 4-0 recommendation that Williams' sentence be adjusted. Branstad has until May 4 to make a decision.
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