Dying Inmate Kristina Fetters, Sentenced to Life at 15, to Be Released

Tuesday, 03 Dec 2013 06:12 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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A dying inmate who was just 15 years old when she was sentenced in Iowa to life without parole for murder will be getting out of jail early.

Reuters reports the Iowa Parole Board decided to release Kristina Fetters, 33, after she became ill with cancer and also following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said it was unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life without parole.

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The parole board decision will move Fetters to hospice and she’ll stay there unless her medical situation changes, Reuters said.

Fetters was found guilty in 1995 of first-degree murder for stabbing her 73-year-old great-aunt to death.

The process of moving Fetters to hospice was a complex one, the Des Moines Register said, even with the Supreme Court ruling.

Before proceedings, the parole board chairman had said he didn’t agree with letting Fetters out, the Register said. There is some evidence her breast cancer has responded to treatment, although she is unable to walk. But even though it has improved, the cancer is incurable, a doctor reported.

Even so, the doctor told the parole board that he would recommend waiting before making a decision on her release, the Register said. But the parole board members didn’t agree and argued for “compassionate release.”

Fetters’ aunt, Darcy Olson, came to the hearing and told the Register, “It’s now time for my family to have closure. Kris’ impending death cannot be denied, and while there has been negative comments, we believe, as the victims, that this family has suffered enough.”

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