Mar 21, 2013 1:04 PM
LOUISVILLE (AP) - The Kentucky Supreme Court has declined to order a man serving a life sentence be paroled from prison, concluding the law doesn't allow it and the inmate misunderstood his plea agreement.
The decision on Thursday came in the case of 54-year-old Donald Terry Bartley. Bartley claimed prosecutors promised he would be released when first eligible if he pleaded guilty in the 1985 killing of a woman and attack on her father Letcher County.
In an unsigned opinion, the court concluded that parole is "at most a privilege, not a right."
Writing separately, Justice Bill Cunningham questioned whether the parole board has the authority to order someone to serve out a life sentence.
Bartley testified against Roger Dale Epperson and Benny Lee Hodge, who were convicted and sentenced to death.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
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