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Posted: Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 12:15 PM HST

Hawaii weighs paroling more terminally ill inmates

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) Terminally sick or debilitated prisoners in Hawaii are likely to gain easier access to parole hearings under changes state agencies are making.

A bill Hawaii lawmakers are considering would give prisoners suffering from dementia or other grave impairments the chance to ask for early release.

Even if that bill does not become law, the Hawaii Paroling Authority and the Department of Public Safety are moving to include more illnesses among those that qualify inmates for possible early release.

Hawaii parole administrator Tommy Johnson told lawmakers Monday that during the past two years all 23 of the inmates who qualified for early medical release ultimately were paroled. He says they had all served their minimum sentences and were deemed to pose no threat to the public.

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