Found Not Guilty … Still in Prison in Texas

In 1987, Jimmy Lee Page was found not guilty of murder by an Austin, Texas jury, but 20 years later, he remains a prisoner. Disregarding the jury’s verdict, the Texas Parole Board revoked Page’s parole. Page’s fate is, apparently, a common practice in Texas. Last year, 91 parolees were returned to prison after being charged with a crime, even though the charges against them were later dropped or they were acquitted in court.

In Page’s case, the Parole Board held its own hearing. Not being bound by the strict rules of the Texas courts of law, the Board held Page to be guilty after listening to only one witness, a police detective who declared Page to be “guilty as homemade sin.” Page has been denied parole a dozen times since.

Page had pled guilty to a 1975 murder and served 11 years of a life sentence before being paroled in 1986.

Some jurors in the Austin trial were shocked that their verdict could be ignored by the parole board, leaving Page with a life sentence regardless of the Jury’s finding.

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