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Posted on July 24, 2013 by Law Office of Brett A Podolsky
Every so often, a person who is imprisoned for a crime may apply for parole. Parole hearings are meant to decide whether a convicted offender should be released from their internment. During these hearings, it is possible for individuals other than the offender to testify either against or on behalf of the prisoner. These people can include friends and family members of the imprisoned person and even the alleged victim of the imprisoned individual.
The Decision to Testify
An individual who wants to testify at these hearings will need to either alert their attorney or the judge who sentenced the imprisoned individual. A person is free to testify to whatever they want at these hearings. This means that a victim could speak in favor of the offender if they so chose, or a family member of the offender could even suggest that their loved one stay incarcerated. Regardless of how a witness feels, the parole board will consider their statements.
There are a few specific things that everyone should do to prepare before testifying at these hearings. If a person was the victim of a crime, for instance, they need to realize that facing the person who harmed them can be detrimental to their mental psyche. Though a victim doesn’t have to testify, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles may actually legally require them to appear in court if it’s deemed necessary.
Practice Makes Perfect
Regardless of which side a person wants to testify for, be it in favor of or against the offender, they should practice what they’re going to say. A person who wants to prevent parole should write down important details that they want to remember and justifications as to why they want the offender to not be released. Someone testifying on behalf of the offender needs to ensure that they have valid reasons for their wish and explain why they think it would be a good thing for those involved.
Almost as important as what a person says is what they wear and how they act. Anyone going in to testify at a parole hearing, regardless of which side they’re on, needs to wear clothing that’s considered business casual. No flamboyant colors should be worn at all; it’s important to remember that this is basically a court of law. It’s also important to show reverence while in the court, and this will garner more respect from the board.
Relations of Potential Parolees
For those who are trying to have a friend or relative released on parole, there are a few other things to consider. Has the offender furthered their education or engaged in counseling while they were incarcerated? These facts are important to mention. Any piece of information that would go towards attesting to the fact that the offender is safe for normal society is imperative to remember and bring up.
To prepare for your parole hearing, call Brett A. Podolsky at 713-227-0087 and get help.