SECOND CHANCE: Branstad Commutes Sentence

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Governor Terry Branstad is offering hope for an Iowa prison inmate.

Branstad has commuted the sentence of Rasberry Williams, a man who was convicted of first-degree murder. Williams was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole in 1974, after fatally shooting a man after a dispute.

In his letter commuting Williams sentence, Governor Branstad states that in 38 years of incarceration, Williams has become a model prisoner and has drastically changed his behavior for the better.

“Mr. Williams’ record while incarcerated has been extraordinary,” the letter states. “He has made the most of his life and has had a positive impact on the lives of both inmates and Department of Corrections’ staff.”

The commutation allows the Board of Parole to consider Mr. Williams for work-release or parole.  Despite the commutation, it will take time for Mr. Williams to work through the re-entry process.


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