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Another Washington Three-Strikes Offender Wins Clemency Recommendation

Austin Jenkins
Northwest News Network
King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, left, argues for clemency for three-strikes offender Orlando Ames as Ames’ attorney Jeff Ellis listens.";

Washington’s Clemency Board has recommended the release of another three-strikes offender serving life without parole.

The three-to-zero vote Friday followed testimony from King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, who supported the petition for mercy.

Orlando Ames was 27 in 1994 when he committed his third-strike crime. It was 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.

Prosecutor Satterberg told the Clemency Board that prior to three-strikes, 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 Governor Jay Inslee.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."