/Board braces for flood of parole requests

Board braces for flood of parole requests

In a single-page letter, the court stated that it would not reconsider its April decision, which ruled Nathan Sinko was eligible for parole. Because of the 2014 changes to the state parole standards for non-violent drug convictions, the Sinko decision allows other inmates to apply for parole. Rachael Ring spoke on behalf of the Mississippi Attorney General and said that her office will not appeal the COA decision. The Sinko decision is therefore still valid. Steve Pickett, the chairman of the Mississippi Parole Board, stated that the Parole Board would add newly eligible inmates to its regular roster. Pickett said that the Legislature and Court of Appeals have both spoken on the parole eligibility question. Inmates were convicted of non-violent drug offenses that the Mississippi Department of Corrections initially deemed ineligible to parole, but later determined was eligible. The Mississippi Court of Appeals rejected the arguments of the Attorney General’s Office against Sinko’s release in its Tuesday decision. Sinko, 35, is currently being held at Parchman’s state penitentiary. He pleaded guilty in May 2012 to Oktibbeha County Drug charges. Sinko was sentenced for making a controlled substance other that marijuana. This crime rendered him ineligible in parole. Jim Waide, a Tupelo attorney for Sinko, stated that Sinko was eligible for parole in the fall 2014, but that he is still in prison. He stated that he didn’t know what was holding Sinko back from being released. The court ruled that Sinko and similar convicted offenders were “pardon eligible” by the Department of Corrections in April’s decision. However, it later changed its mind and prohibited Sinko from parole. The court pointed out that several years ago, Sinko was placed in state custody for a drug case. This Department of Corrections’s interpretation of Sinko’s case was changed by the Department of Corrections. In its April 9-1 opinion, the court stated that MDOC had for years considered this class of offenders, which included Sinko, eligible for parole. It was also pointed out that anyone convicted of manufacturing meth and other controlled substances after July 1, 2014, was eligible for parole by the Legislature.