Helping Prisoners Regain Their Freedom Through Parole
A prison sentence is not written in stone. Through good conduct and other circumstances, inmates may qualify for early release through parole. But it is not easy or automatic to get paroled. You need a skilled lawyer to do the homework and be your voice before the parole board.
I am Ed Stapleton, a criminal law attorney with over 40 years of experience. I have helped individuals throughout Texas win parole to regain their freedom and reunite with their families. I handle both state and federal parole cases.
What Is Parole?
Parole is a conditional release from prison before the person has served their full sentence. It is not granted by a judge. It is granted only by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles or by the U.S. Parole Commission. Parolees are subject to strict rules upon release. Violating parole can send the person right back to prison.
- Good behavior is the most common grounds for seeking parole. The inmate has not committed crimes or disciplinary offenses during incarceration and has taken positive steps while in prison to gain skills or change their ways.
- Compassionate relief is also a possibility. I have visited the prison hospital in Galveston and other facilities that have medical care. Mental illness and shortened lifespans in prisons are common problems for which the client often needs help.
Most crimes are eligible for parole after the prisoner has served a certain portion of their sentence. Lesser offenses are eligible sooner. More serious crimes often require a higher percentage of time served before parole is an option.
The Role Of A Lawyer In Parole
On parole review, I gather information from family and friends that will help demonstrate the inmate is a good candidate for parole. I show he or she has a job waiting as well as a place to live and people to help them. The focus of these hearings – usually conducted by telephone with our witnesses present – is not the underlying offense, but proof that parole will be successful. I know how to present a positive and realistic narrative in support of my clients.
For inmates who will not be eligible for parole for a long time, we must pursue alternative relief, such as an 11.07 writ in state court or a 2255 writ in federal court. I have a long and successful record in criminal appeals and post-conviction relief.
A Prison Visit For Your Loved One?
One key to my successful parole advocacy is that I personally visit clients in prison. I have represented inmates for decades, and it is better for both me and the client if we meet in person. Telephone calls and Zoom meetings have their use, but without a meeting face to face – “bigote a bigote” – it is hard to protect the client’s confidentiality.
Also, for us to really understand each other, a face-to-face meeting is important. I have always been treated with great courtesy by wardens and jailers. It has also been my experience that inmates are better treated if it is known they have a lawyer watching out for them.
Most every prison unit has a small, convenient airport nearby. Texas is a big state and the time spent driving back and forth, plus hotels, makes prison visits expensive unless the lawyer flies in a small private plane. I am a student pilot. I can fly with my pilot/flight instructor in the morning, visit my client and return to the office in Brownsville, with only a day lost.
Fluent In Spanish
I speak Spanish and have not needed interpreters since 1976, so we can protect privacy in this way also. Spanish is not my first language, but I went to elementary school in McAllen and lived, traveled, and studied in Mexico and South America. I have many hours of college study in Latin American History and Spanish, literature and grammar and translation at the University of Texas and University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. I studied law at the Escuela Libre de Derecho in Mexico City and spent summers at the Universidad de las Americas. When I served as a federal public defender, most of my clients spoke only Spanish. I was in Chile during Salvador Allende’s presidency and in Argentina when Juan Peron died and have visited most every Hispanic country except Cuba.
Call A Longtime Advocate For Inmate Rights
I have worked for decades to improve jail and prison conditions for inmates. I was on the trial team in the jury trial on behalf of Allen L. Lamar when he was in the Ellis Unit of the Texas Department of Corrections, in which the jury found Mr. Lamar suffered “flagrant disregard” for his rights because he was a writ writer. Allen L. Lamar, Cross-Appellant v. L.A. Steele, Cross-Appellee, 693 F.2d 559 (5th Cir. 1983). Also, I was lead counsel for class actions for inmates resulting in improved jail conditions in the Denton County and Cameron County jails.
I have spent my career defending the accused and helping those convicted of crimes win back their freedom. If you or your loved one want to discuss parole and how I can help, please call Ed Stapleton, Lawyer PLLC at 956-688-9858 or contact me online.