Killer of Grand Ole Opry’s Stringbean Akeman Denied Parole

The killer of Stringbean Akerman and his wife was denied parole recently, 40 years after the horrible crime was committed.

This pose is not so much about the parole process as how one person may be treated differently from another due to who they killed as opposed to the fact that a killing took place.

There is no doubt that the crime was horrendous, with John A. Brown laying in wait for Akeman and his wife with the intent to rob them and then killing them when a suspected stash was not found. The death was felt by many people who knew and loved “Stringbean” for his Bluegrass banjo playing as well as his appearances on the Grand Ole Opry.

However, the evidence appears to be that Brown has made a complete turnaround while in prison.

“You have turned a corner,” said board member Chuck Taylor, commending Brown on his educational and leadership accomplishments in prison. “But the bigger issue is the crime has not turned a corner with you. … Releasing you would depreciate the seriousness of the crime.”

Would it really?

You have to wonder how much effect the many calls and letters from country music veterans had on the decision to deny the parole, whereas if the victim hadn’t been so famous they might have been released already.

This post isn’t to take the position that he should be released, just the position that maybe the law isn’t always applied equally.






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