Georgia House OKs Bill To Add Transparency At Parole Board

Washington Nationals at Baltimore Orioles May 20,  2011
Washington Nationals at Baltimore Orioles May 20, 2011
Credit Keith Allison / KeithAllisonPhoto.com
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The state parole board has always decided cases largely in secret, but that would change under a bill approved Tuesday by the Georgia House.

Before the vote, Rep. Kevin Tanner, R-Dawsonville, urged House members to support his bill.

“Send a message that the days of operating behind closed doors and behind a veil of secrecy is over in Georgia,” said Tanner.

Under the bill, the board would have to publish how its members vote and an explanation of any rulings. It also would require the board notify victims and their families prior to restoring any rights to offenders.

In 2013, the board restored gun rights to more than 600 convicted felons, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. About a third of those were convicted of a violent crime such as murder or rape.

The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.