Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Crime, Law and Justice

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.