Sen. Braun Expresses Relief for Inslee’s Parole Decisions, Questions Need for Deliberation


Gov. Jay Inslee announced on Friday he had canceled the decision by the Indeterminate Sentence Review Board to grant Timothy Pauley parole. Pauley was convicted in 1981 of three counts of first-degree murder and has been incarcerated ever since.

The governor’s decision came after what his statement described as “considerable deliberation and review of the case record.”

Inslee wrote in his decision Pauley had failed to “demonstrate both a full acceptance of his responsibility and remorse.” The governor also criticized Pauley’s lack of acknowledgement and apology to his victims and their families.

In a statement released later on Friday, Senate Republican Minority Leader John Braun, R-Centralia, described his reaction to the governor’s decision as a “relief.” But Braun questioned the need for deliberation on the governor’s part.

“I don’t know what he had to consider so carefully — denying parole in this case should be one of the easiest decisions he’s ever had to make. And the Democratic policies that allowed a man who murdered three people and left another for dead to be granted parole in the first place are a terrible miscarriage of justice,” Braun said.

Braun continued by questioning how people would be able to trust the state government when it is granting parole to a person sentenced to life without parole.

“They received that sentence because they have committed a crime so terrible that the public needs permanent protection from them. The system needs to live up to that responsibility to society,” Braun said.

The senator speculated the governor’s decision was due to “public backlash over skyrocketing crime.”

“We have to change the current mindset under the majority, which doesn’t take public safety as seriously as it should. We must put the rights of victims and the safety of the public above the rights of the offenders,” Braun said. “People must be able to trust that state government is working to protect them. Right now, they can’t.”