Arkansas woman, 72, is granted parole more than three decades after she was jailed for 140 years for killing her physically abusive husband

A 72-year-old Arkansas woman has been granted parole more than three decades after she was jailed for 140 years for killing her physically abusive husband.
Governor Asa Hutchinson announced in March that he intended to commute the sentence of Willie Mae Harris, who has served 34 years of a life sentence at Wrightsville Women's Facility in Arkansas after being arrested for her husband's murder in 1985.  
Harris' parole was approved on Wednesday and she will be freed within 45 days, according to state law. Her original sentence was 140 years for first-degree murder.
Harris, who went blind while in prison, has always maintained her innocence.
In her trial testimony, she said her husband Clyde Harris accused her of giving him a sexually transmitted infection, tried to have anal sex with her and then 'slung her around'. 
Willie Mae Harris Harris, now 72 and blind, was sentenced to life in prison in 1985. Since she first started petitioning for executive clemency in 1998, the Arkansas parole board recommended her for release five times
Willie Mae Harris Harris, now 72 and blind, was sentenced to life in prison in 1985. Since she first started petitioning for executive clemency in 1998, the Arkansas parole board recommended her for release five times
Pictured: Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson appears on 'Meet the Press' in Washington on 24 February 2019. Hutchinson has approved to commute the sentence of Willie Mae Harris, who was serving a life sentence at a women's correctional facility in Arkansas
Pictured: Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson appears on 'Meet the Press' in Washington on 24 February 2019. Hutchinson has approved to commute the sentence of Willie Mae Harris, who was serving a life sentence at a women's correctional facility in Arkansas

Pulling a gun from her purse, she said she began to hit Clyde with it, and a single shot accidentally went off and killed him.  
Recalling her relationship with her husband, she said that he would threaten to kill her and be physically abusive. 
'She's been a victim of domestic violence for a long period of time [and] there was evidence of that,' Gov. Hutchinson said.  
'She proclaimed her innocence, but for a lot of reasons, I granted clemency to Willie Mae Harris.'  
Criminal justice publication The Appeal, who have written articles calling for Harris' release, spoke to her daughter Silvia Harris Wilkins, who said she can't express her joy at the decision.
Gov. Hutchinson on Wednesday decided to commute the sentence of Willie Mae Harris (pictured in 1985) and non-violent drug offender Robert R. Johnson (right)
Gov. Hutchinson on Wednesday decided to commute the sentence of Willie Mae Harris (pictured in 1985) and non-violent drug offender Robert R. Johnson (right)
'My biggest fear was burying my mother in prison,' she said. 'Just to know that I don't have to do that and she's coming home is such a relief.'
She said that the 72-year-old will be moving to Texas to live with her and her sister. 
Gov. Hutchinson on Wednesday also decided to commute the sentence of non-violent drug offender Robert R. Johnson. 
Arkansas woman, 72, is granted parole more than three decades after she was jailed for 140 years for killing her physically abusive husband Arkansas woman, 72, is granted parole more than three decades after she was jailed for 140 years for killing her physically abusive husband Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 04:32 Rating: 5

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