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.