O’malley commutes two life sentences
For the first time in his tenure, Gov. Martin O’malley commuted two life prison sentences on Thursday, for a then14-year-old boy involved in a fatal robbery and a woman whose boyfriend killed a man she met in a bar.
The governor signed executive orders to grant conditional commutations for Mark Farley Grant and Tamara Settles. Grant’s life term was commuted to a term of life with all but 45 years suspended. Settles’ life term was commuted to a term of life with all but 40 years suspended.
The commutations do not immediately release them. The state’s parole commission will have the discretion to parole them in advance of mandatory release dates without further approval by the governor.
The parole commission and the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services also will create a transition plan to help them return to life outside of prison. Grant and Settles also will be supervised by the department after their release.
Mr. O’malley, a Democrat who is in the second year of his second term, has previously denied 49 commutation requests, four parole recommendations and four medical parole recommendations from inmates serving life sentences. He has granted two medical paroles for inmates who were not serving life sentences.
Grant was acquitted of first-degree murder and convicted of felony murder in 1984 in a Baltimore robbery involving other boys. He was 14 at the time of shooting.
Settles, who is now 53, has served 27 years in prison. She was convicted of felony murder in the 1984 slaying of Charles Fowler in Hyattsville.