Last Friday, Rhode Island Senate voted 36 to 0 to pass a bill that requires offenders receiving non-life terms for first or second degree murder to serve at least half their sentence before becoming eligible for parole. The bill sponsored by Sen. Leonidas Raptakis (D-Coventry) also requires inmates serving life terms for first or second degree murder to wait a minimum of 30 years before they are eligible for parole. The current minimum is 20 years. The bill now awaits action in the House.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee announced Tuesday that Laura Pisaturo of Warwick, Rhode Island has been appointed chair of the Rhode Island Parole Board. The existing chair, Kenneth Walker, is resigning at the end of July. He has served on the board since 1979 and as chair since 2008. Pisaturo serves on the state Supreme Court Disciplinary Board and the Warwick Planning Board. She has also worked as director of the Rhode Island Children's Advocacy Center and as a prosecutor in the state attorney general's office.