Governor Vilsack says the four-to-one Iowa Parole Board vote recommending that a politically-connected “lifer” remain in prison is just one factor he’ll consider as he reviews his first commutation case. He says it’s one of the factors he will use, but not the deciding factor.Vilsack must decide within 90 days whether to commute Kathy Tyler’s “life” sentence for murdering her ex-husband 22 years ago, but the Governor says it won’t take that long. He’s developed a set of criteria for commuting prison sentences.Former Governor Robert Ray, former Lieutenant Governor Joy Corning and other influential Iowans are pressuring Vilsack to commute Tyler’s sentence so she can be paroled. Vilsack says it’s not about who contacts him on the issue, it’s about the set of criteria he’s established.Vilsack may interview Tyler himself. Tyler killed her ex-husband, a Des Moines doctor, in his medical clinic office.
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