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According to an official report released Monday, Wash. inmate erroneously released early kills woman in hit-and-run during the time he was supposed to stay in prison. The 38-year-old man was freed earlier than ordered because of a computer glitch that had miscalculated the sentence time.
The incident happened a week after Washington state’s governor reported that more than 3,000 state prisoners where freed by mistake since 2002. Several of these prisoners have committed crimes during the time they should have been in jail, officials said.
The prisoners were released because of errors in the software which calculated their prison time. The computer program is slated to be fixed in January. One of the 3,000 plus inmates was Robert Jackson, who was set free Aug. 10, after a conviction for armed robbery. The computer miscalculated the remaining time to serve in jail and authorities released him four months earlier.
On Nov. 11, however, he was involved in a fatal car crash which led to the death of his 35-year-old girlfriend, who was riding in the vehicle the man was driving. He tried to escape arrest by fleeing the scene and he is now charged with hit-and-run and vehicular homicide.
Prosecutors said that Jackson was driving under influence and impaired by recreational drugs. Investigators also learned that he was speeding when the accident occurred. Prosecution wrote in a report that the man was a ‘grave danger’ to the public and had a high risk of fleeing.
Jackson’s lawyer couldn’t be reached for comment yesterday.
The Department Secretary told the media that the man had apologized to his girlfriend’s family this weekend. He acknowledged that there was no way to bring her back and said he was deeply sorry for what happened.
When he heard the news, the Governor said that it was horribly wrong, and pledged that he would do whatever necessary to ensure that nothing similar ever happens again.
According to last week’s report, over two dozen former prisoners that were mistakenly released from prison since June may need to be sought, arrested, and returned to jail to serve the remaining time. In all cases the release was due to a computer error.
Initially, authorities said that at least three of these offenders had been involved in new crimes. On Monday, however, officials reported that they are absolutely sure that two of them committed new crimes. Jackson is one of those two.
The police are now looking for the other offender involved in new crimes, but they declined to disclose his identity.
Image Source: Wikipedia
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