Thursday, April 27, 2017, was Henry’s en banc hearing. That’s where the parole board member who interviewed Henry at Menard CC gave her report to the full board. It occurred in Springfield and was again attended by Henry’s sister and, for the first time, his son, Thomas, who drove from southwestern Missouri. The board allowed only one family member to speak for up to 10 minutes. Thomas spoke.
Henry really thought he had a chance this year. The parole board member who interviewed him in March questioned him for hours, and he felt she understood him and was favorable toward him (which turned out to be true). Then after her visit, a risk assessment was administered, and then the original parole board member returned for a second visit, during which she told Henry he had done well on the risk assessment. What was against him was that two of last year’s four affirmative votes had retired from the board, and one member who was actively opposed to Henry, who was to retire last October, did not. As it turned out, Henry did pick up two votes, which replaced the two who had left, but even if those two had not left, he would have fallen one vote short. He needs seven.
After voting to deny Henry parole, the board voted on how long before he is reevaluated for parole. It appeared to the family members in attendance that he was going to get a three-year “set,” but in the end they voted to review his case again next year, which by now is only a bit more than ten months hence.
(I’m writing from memory of a phone call from Henry two nights ago. I didn’t take notes and can’t find any news report of Henry’s en banc hearing result.)