WA Supreme Court Upholds Governor's Right to Cancel Parole - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

WA Supreme Court Upholds Governor's Right to Cancel Parole

Posted: Updated:

NBCRightNow.com - A violent attack on a Richland police officer influences a Washington State Supreme Court decision.

The court on Thursday upheld the governor's ability to cancel parole for dangerous criminals in Washington, despite the state parole board's recommendations.

The ruling comes after a violent shooting in Richland back in 1982. The case involved Iowa parolee, Jerry Dean Lain, who shot a Richland Officer Mike Fitzpatrick twice during a traffic stop. Fitzpatrick survived but suffered serious injuries.

Lain was convicted and received a minimum of 240 months and a maximum sentence of life in prison, with review by the state's Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board.

In 2010, the ISRB recommended Lain be released on parole to live with his parents. However, Gov. Chris Gregoire canceled Lain's parole, saying he was at a medium to high risk to commit violent crimes again. She also pointed out that he shot the Richland officer while on parole from Iowa.

Lain challenged the governor's ability to overturn recommendations. However, on Thursday the court ruled 9-0 in favor of upholding the constitutionality of state law giving the governor power to grant or cancel parole.

Lain will remain at the Monroe Correctional Complex, serving his life sentence.