Clemency Remains Denied for Prisoner

By: AP
By: AP

DETROIT -- A prison inmate whose release from a life sentence was granted but quickly reversed by then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm has struck out again after the parole board and new Gov. Rick Snyder took a second look at the case, an official said Monday.
Snyder followed the parole board's new recommendation and rejected Matthew Makowski's request for commutation, prisons spokesman Russ Marlan said.
Makowski, 44, has been in in prison for more than 20 years for first-degree murder. He admits arranging the robbery of a co-worker in Dearborn in 1988 but insists he didn't know the thief would be carrying a knife.
Granholm agreed to commute his no-parole sentence in December in one of her final acts as governor. But she changed her mind on Christmas Eve after The Associated Press reported that the victim's family was stunned and never had been consulted by the parole board.
Granholm told the board to take another look. It did not hold a second public hearing but it did have contact with the family of Pietro "Pete" Puma, Marlan said.
"They got additional information that contradicted some of the statements (Makowski) had made in his public hearing testimony. I can't get into it," Marlan said.
The parole board on April 14 unanimously recommended against releasing Makowski, and Snyder made his decision the next day, Marlan said.
A message seeking comment was left with Makowski's lawyer, John Schlinker, a former parole board member. He had strongly suggested that a lawsuit would be filed over Granholm's about-face but there has been no legal action.


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