Governor Hutchinson to commute sentence of Arkansas woman convicted in husband’s killing

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This undated photo provided by the Arkansas Department of Correction shows Willie Mae Harris. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Wednesday, March 4, 2020, he plans to commute the life sentence of Harris, making her immediately eligible for parole. Harris was convicted of first degree murder in the shooting death of her husband, who she said abused her. (Arkansas Department of Correction via AP)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas’ governor says he will commute the sentence of a woman convicted more than three decades ago of fatally shooting her husband, who had physically abused her.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Wednesday announced his intent to make Willie Mae Harris immediately eligible for parole.

Harris was convicted in 1985 of first degree murder in the shooting death of her husband. Harris admitted to shooting her husband, but has said it was an accident related to self defense.

Harris is legally blind and the state Parole Board has recommended she receive clemency several times over the years.

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