IA - Lester Givhan, 40, shot to death, Waterloo, 20 July 1974

Discussion in 'Past Trial Discussion Threads' started by Reader, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Dozens of residents have packed a conference room [Wed.] in Waterloo, Iowa, to weigh in on whether the governor should free an inmate widely credited with turning his life around after committing a 1974 murder.

    The room at the Black Hawk County Courthouse is overflowing as the Iowa Board of Parole begins to gather input on whether Gov. Terry Branstad should commute the life sentence of 66-year-old Rasberry Williams so he can be released on parole.

    The parole board has already recommended that Branstad approve Williams' application for commutation. But Branstad says he wants to hear from the public in the community where Williams' crime happened.

    Williams shot a neighbor outside a Waterloo pool hall after an argument over a gambling debt.

    Branstad has until May to make a decision...........

    Williams' supporters, however, argue the governor should show leniency to reward a remarkable rehabilitation. Prison officials describe Williams as a model inmate who got an education in prison, mentored scores of young offenders and served as a fixture in programs where he warned young people to avoid trouble. And, in what officials call his most noteworthy act, he once intervened to save the lives of prison guards who had been taken hostage by another inmate............

    Much more at 3 page article...
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  3. Skagirl

    Skagirl New Member

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    Right now I can't decide one way or the other if Mr. Williams should have his sentence commuted or not. I'm a little shocked to see his defense lawyer say there was no way to defend his client. I'm still learning a lot about Iowa law in my paralegal classes, but I'm thinking it's not a good idea to be on public record saying your client is guilty and there's no defense available. It makes me wonder if his lawyer thought like that from the beginning and if he tried to do everything he could for his client?
  4. MsFacetious

    MsFacetious What a Kerfuffle...

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    He should get SOME sort of recognition for this:

    And, in what officials call his most noteworthy act,
    he once intervened to save the lives of prison guards who had been taken hostage by another inmate.

    Not many inmates would do THAT.
    I wouldn't want to be the one making this decision.
    However... saving the lives of officers while incarcerated?
    That deserves some sort of reward. :twocents:
  5. OkieGranny

    OkieGranny New Member Staff Member Forum Coordinators

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    From July 2014:



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