Senate hearing probes early release scandal

SEATTLE — More than 3,000 inmates were affected by the early release software error.

Records show two deaths connected with inmates who still should have been behind bars.

Today’s hearing was the first time we heard publicly from Assistant Attorney General Ronda Larson.

She wrote a 2012 email saying there was no need to hand calculate sentences and OK to wait for the computer fix to come in.

“You recommended at that point not to do hand calculations?” asked Republican Steve O’Ban.

“Right because my belief what that would only take two months or less to get OMNI fixed to actually take care of this,” Larson responded.

“I regret that now,” she said. “I wish that I had discussed it further with my supervisor.”

Matthew Mirante was monitoring the prison time of the man who stabbed his son.

He didn't use a computer to calculate the sentence and it didn't take him long to do it by hand.

“Probably about five minutes,” he said.

The Department of Corrections didn't know anything was wrong until Mirante called them in 2012.

“The day I said, and the day they calculated after they did it by hand, was right. So obviously the computer made an error.

But after two hours of testimony senators still had no answer to a key question. Why did it take three years to finally fix the computer?

“We're a little perplexed here why after a ranking, after you gave it the highest ranking you could have given it ... why things didn't happen after that?”

Senator Padden says his investigation will continue with more hearings.

Today Governor Inslee said the outside investigation he ordered is complete and that it will be released later this week.

Want to talk about the news of the day? Join us on Facebook.

Comments on this article