Parole Awarded to Second Baker Commutation Recipient

William Allen is set for release after nearly three decades in prison after being commuted

Stuart Cahill/Boston Herald

William Allen, the second in a pair of commutations backed by Gov. Charlie Baker earlier this year, got the green light from the Parole Board on Wednesday and is set for release after around 28 years in prison.

And more acts of clemency could be on the way from Baker during his final year in office as a number of pardon petitions work their way through the pipeline.

Allen was convicted of first-degree murder in 1997 as a joint venturer in a case in which his accomplice stabbed and killed a man in the apartment they were robbing. His commutation in February — approved in a three-step process by the board, governor, and Governor's Council — made him eligible for parole.

In making its unanimous decision Wednesday, the Parole Board cited Allen's "significant commitment to countless rehabilitative programs" during his time in prison, "extraordinary steps toward self-improvement," and "strong support network and strong re-entry plan."

Restrictions on his release include electronic monitoring, supervision for drugs and liquor use, and mandatory counseling. The Parole Board, acting in its capacity as the Advisory Board of Pardons, gives the governor initial recommendations on proposed commutations and pardons.

The governor then decides whether to recommend the clemency, which would send the case to the Governor's Council for a final vote.

Six board hearings were scheduled between December and February on pardon cases for Murphy Smith, George Cataldo, Edem Seth Amet, Kenneth Dunn, Bertrand Lamitie, and Stephen Polignone. The board also heard Nicholas Scafidi's case for a commutation, but that bid has been denied, according to Baker's office.

Four more pardon petitioners are due before the board next Monday: Steven Joanis, Brian Morin, Gregory Haidaczuk, and Carlos Cunha.

A Baker spokeswoman said that as of Thursday, there are "currently no positive recommendations from the Parole Board awaiting action from the governor."

Copyright State House News Service
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