- Associated Press - Sunday, December 4, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Mississippi Supreme Court has unanimously denied an appeal by a Calhoun County man who wanted the court to declare him eligible for parole.

The court Thursday declined to tell that state prison system that Arvin Rochell was eligible for parole under a 2014 sentencing reform law that requires the Mississippi Department of Corrections to prepare individual parole plans for incoming inmates. Rochell pleaded guilty to murder and arson in 1994 in the deaths of Hazel and Nell McMahan. He’s serving a life sentence.

The court found that because Rochell was convicted before 2014, the law doesn’t apply to him. It also found that because he’d committed a violent crime, he isn’t presumptively eligible for parole, and can only be released by a majority vote of the state Parole Board.


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