WA Supreme Court Upholds Parole Cancellation for Violent Richland Offender
Breaking news Thursday, the Washington State Supreme Court has ruled former Governor Christine Gregoire was well within her power to terminate the parole of a man convicted of a violent attack in 1982 on a Richland Police Officer.
Prior to her leaving office, Gov. Gregoire had cancelled the parole of now 54-year-old Jerry D. Lain, who was convicted of stabbing a Richland policeman 7 times, and shooting him twice! Lain attacked Officer Mike Fitzpatrick on the night of September 7th 1982, after Fitzpatrick responded to what was thought to be a car prowl incident near the Richland Y.
It remains one of the most violent attacks on a law enforcement officer in Mid-Columbia history.
Fitzpatrick, who was attacked just before his 29th birthday, survived the assault. Lain was scheduled to be released on parole last December, but Gregoire used a little-known clause in state law to keep him behind bars, and asked that he be forced to serve the life term he was originally given by a Benton County judge.
Gregoire based her decision on information that Lain had committed an astounding 23 prisoner infractions, and was involved in 18 incidents while in prison. He was considered a very high risk offender, and was likely to commit violent acts if released. The Court ruled the provision was constitutional, and was correctly applied in this case.
The Supreme Court’s ruling means Gregoire’s actions will almost certainly keep this dangerous criminal in prison for the rest of his life.