Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

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.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Reali faced long odds in asking Parole Board to free her | long, reali, faced - Colorado Springs Gazette, CO

Reali faced long odds in asking Parole Board to free her | long, reali, faced - Colorado Springs Gazette, CO

Jennifer Reali faced long odds in asking to be paroled this week after serving more than 20 years in prison for the killing of her lover’s wife in 1990.

Of the 83,800 inmates who appeared before the Colorado Parole Board from 2004 to 2008, only 11,100 were released from prison, according to a state audit report.

That amounts to a 13 percent chance of being released early when the decision is up to the Parole Board and not a mandatory condition of sentencing.

Reali was denied after a hearing at the Women’s Correctional Facility in Denver before two members of the Parole Board. The 49-year-old will have to wait until 2016 before she can again request a parole hearing.

Reali was convicted of shooting Dianne Hood outside the Otis Park Community Center in September 1990 as Hood left a lupus support meeting. Dressed in camouflage fatigues and wearing a ski mask, Reali ambushed Hood, making a grab for her bag to make it look like a botched robbery attempt before shooting her two times.

She was sentenced to life for the murder. Hood’s husband, Brian, got 37 years in prison for planning the murder and persuading Reali to pull the trigger.

Reali became eligible for parole this year when outgoing Gov. Bill Ritter commuted her sentence in January to bring it more in line with Brian Hood’s punishment.

At Wednesday’s hearing, Reali tearfully apologized for her crime, saying she was not the same person who had been talked into a heinous act. Her parents were at her side, offering her a home and a job if she were released.

Her request for clemency and consideration for parole was supported by the trial judge, the detective who arrested her and Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, the district attorney who convicted her.

The lawyer who defended her, Elvin L. Gentry, said Thursday he doesn’t know what else Reali had to do to earn a second chance.

“When you are eligible for parole, I guess the lesson is ‘fat chance,” Gentry said.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

There is absolutely no logic to the parole boards decisions.

Susan said...

I hope she will be released in her next hearing. She has shown considerable remorse for what she did and showed that almost immediately after killing Diane Hood. Brian is the one who should never see the light of freedom, for he put her up to doing his dirty work.