A person sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of release or parole under this section shall not have that sentence suspended, deferred or commuted by any judicial officer, and the State Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision may not parole the prisoner nor reduce the period of confinement in any manner whatsoever. The Department of Corrections or any executive official may not permit the prisoner to participate in any sort of release or furlough program.
At any time after completion of a minimum period of confinement pursuant to subsection (1)(c) of this section, the State Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision, upon the petition of a prisoner so confined, shall hold a hearing to determine if the prisoner is likely to be rehabilitated within a reasonable period of time. The sole issue is whether or not the prisoner is likely to be rehabilitated within a reasonable period of time. At the hearing, the prisoner has:
The burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence the likelihood of rehabilitation within a reasonable period of time;
The right, if the prisoner is without sufficient funds to employ an attorney, to be represented by legal counsel, appointed by the board, at board expense; and
The right to a subpoena upon a showing of the general relevance and reasonable scope of the evidence sought, provided that any subpoena issued on behalf of the prisoner must be issued by the State Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision pursuant to rules adopted by the board.
If, upon hearing all of the evidence, the board, upon a unanimous vote of three board members or, if the chairperson requires all voting members to participate, a unanimous vote of all voting members, finds that the prisoner is capable of rehabilitation and that the terms of the prisoner’s confinement should be changed to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole, release to post-prison supervision or work release, it shall enter an order to that effect and the order shall convert the terms of the prisoner’s confinement to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole, release to post-prison supervision or work release and may set a release date. Otherwise the board shall deny the relief sought in the petition.
The board’s final order shall be accompanied by findings of fact and conclusions of law. The findings of fact shall consist of a concise statement of the underlying facts supporting the findings as to each contested issue of fact and as to each ultimate fact required to support the board’s order. [1977 c.370 §2; 1981 c.873 §4; 1985 c.3 §1; 1987 c.158 §23; 1987 c.803 §20; 1989 c.720 §1; 1991 c.126 §8; 1995 c.421 §2; 1999 c.59 §31; 1999 c.782 §5; 2007 c.717 §1; 2009 c.660 §6; 2015 c.820 §45; 2019 c.634 §27]