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Iowa Gov. denies 10 applications for commutation

DES MOINES (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad announced Wednesday that he had denied applications from 10 Iowa inmates seeking reduction of their sentences.

Six of the applicants are serving life sentences for murder, two were convicted of robbery and two of kidnapping. The governor’s spokesman Tim Albrecht said Branstad made the decisions after a review that included checking materials sent by the parole board, receiving public input and conducting staff interviews with some of the inmates.

Albrecht said the parole board gave an unfavorable recommendation for all applicants. According to the governor’s office the rejected applicants were:

• Darrell Bizzett, 64, who is serving a life sentence for murder committed in 1970 in Woodbury County.

• Rodney Borushaski, 40, serving two life sentences for murder committed in 1996 in Polk County.

• Raymond T. Freie, Jr., 71, serving a life sentence for murder committed in 1981 in Hancock County.

• Kevin Johnson, 58, serving a life sentence for a murder committed in 1980 in Pottawattamie County.

• Ed Shaker Nassif, 43, serving a life sentence for a murder committed in 1990 in Linn County.

• Robert C. Richey, 68, serving a life sentence for a murder committed in 1996 in Bremer County.

• Dee Jay Radeke, 49, serving a life sentencing for kidnapping. The crime was committed in 1991 in Linn County.

• Richard T. Steltzer, 69, serving a life sentence for kidnapping committed in 1979 in Warren County.

• Mark Greiman, 51, serving a 20 year sentence for a robbery committed in 1998 in Cerro Gordo County.

• Arthur Rogers, 40, serving two 20 year sentences for robbery committed in 2000 in Scott County.

A spokesman for Branstad said he has not yet made a decision on the application for commutation from 66-year-old Rasberry Williams.

Williams is serving a life sentence for the 1974 fatal shooting of a neighbor.

His bid to have his sentence commuted to a set number of years so he can become eligible for parole has won the backing of prison wardens, the prosecutor who convicted him and the judge who oversaw his trial.

In addition to Williams’ application, eight other commutation applications are pending from inmates in the Iowa State Penitentiary.

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