Another Three-Strikes Offender In Wash. State Wins Clemency Recommendation

Jun 13, 2014

Washington’s Clemency Board has recommended the release of another three-strikes offender serving life without parole. The 3-to-0 vote Friday followed testimony from King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg who supported the petition for mercy.

Orlando Ames was 27 when he committed his third-strike crime in 1994 — a second-degree assault that involved running after and grabbing hold of his victim while a juvenile accomplice stole items from the victim’s pockets. Previously, Ames had been convicted of two street robberies.

Today, Ames is 46 and suffers from a serious heart condition. Satterberg told the Clemency Board that prior to the three-strikes law, Ames would have faced about two years in prison.

“He has paid a heavy price; he has served a 19-year sentence. People who commit murder serve less than that in our state,” Satterberg said.

Satterberg told the board he doesn’t believe Ames poses a threat to society anymore. This is the sixth time Satterberg has gone to bat for three-strikes offender he believes has reformed. The Republican prosecutor says his goal is to reconcile past and present charging practices in King County.

The Clemency Board’s non-binding recommendation now goes to Gov. Jay Inslee.