Governor Tom Vilsack has commuted the sentence of a 51-year-old man from Sumner who was convicted of rape in 1977. Randall Eugene Ball was sentenced to life in prison for the crime, and he’s served almost 27 years behind bars. Governor Vilsack has written a letter to the Iowa Board of Parole, saying he has concluded that Ball is not a public safety risk. The Governor also said Ball has taken significant steps to rehabilitate himself. Three others who were party to the crime pleaded guilty after Ball’s trial, received lesser sentences and were paroled after five to seven years in prison. Vilsack did say the rape victim suffered “unspeakable horrors” and he directed the Parole Board to make sure Ball had completed sex offender treatment and a psychological evaluation. The Governor also said Ball must never contact the victim or the victim’s family while he is on work release or parole. This is the second time Vilsack has used his power to commute a prison sentence.
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