The Denver Post
David O. Adams wants to go home to die.
Stricken with terminal brain cancer, Adams has only a few weeks to live.
"I want to die in the companionship of people who care for me," Adams said. "I don't want to die in that cell up there in the infirmary."
Adams, 47, who shot and wounded a man in 1998, is serving 24 years in prison. He asked to be paroled at a hearing last month at the Denver Reception and Diagnostic Center.
The Colorado Parole Board denied his release.
Parole Board chairman David Michaud said he can't legally disclose why Adams was not granted parole, just that he did not meet all the criteria.
"The decision was not made for lack of compassion," he said.
Adams also is not eligible for "special-needs parole," offered to terminally ill and elderly offenders, because he committed a violent crime.
Michaud said he moved Adams' parole hearing up from April 2010 at the request of Adams' uncle.
Parole is denied for a variety of reasons, including victim input, the inmate's behavior in prison and their commitment to sobriety, Michaud said.
Hearing officers also try to determine if the prisoner has completed anger-management and drug-rehab programs, prior criminal history and if there is adequate family support upon release, Michaud said.
Recently, the issue of compassionate release for violent offenders has raised questions about what is an appropriate balance between public safety and mercy.
In California, Charles Manson family member Susan Atkins — who stabbed pregnant actress Sharon Tate to death in August 1969 — was denied parole and compassionate release as she lay on a prison hospital gurney. She died Sept. 24, 22 days after her parole hearing.
Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?
Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.
If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.
Friday, October 16, 2009
The Denver Post