Survivor of East Lansing serial killer fighting for parole system reform

Randy Gilbert survived an attack by serial killer Don Miller in the 1970s.
Lansing man fighting for parole system reform, more support for survivors
Published: Feb. 10, 2022 at 5:59 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 10, 2022 at 5:45 PM EST
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Update: ‘I’ve been advocating for this day for a long time’ -- Man who saved sister from attack sees signing of bipartisan public safety bills

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - A Lansing man joined lawmakers Thursday in calling for reform to Michigan’s parole system and more support for survivors of traumatic crimes.

Randy Gilbert survived an attack by serial killer Don Miller in the 1970s. He spoke alongside State Reps. Sarah Lightner (R-Springport) and Angela Witwer (D-Delta Twp.), who sponsored House Bills 45862-63, as the Senate Committee of Judiciary and Public Safety heard testimony regarding a plan to reform the state’s parole process and offer more support to those who have survived a traumatic crime.

“It’s very difficult. Every morning I wake up, is today the day going to be the day? Is today the day he’s going to be released?” Gilbert said. “I have to do this every year, every day. It kind of makes me feel like I’ve got the life sentence.”

Currently, when a prisoner is denied parole in Michigan, the Parole Board must review the case every one or two years. The frequency of this process forces victims to routinely relive the traumatic events of the crime, even when there is little to no chance of a prisoner ever receiving parole.

Most recently, Miller was denied parole in June 2021.

HBs 4562-63 will give the Michigan Parole Board flexibility to increase the amount of time between parole being denied and the next review by up to five years. Both bills can be viewed below.


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