Michael Patrick Moore, convicted of killing two men outside a Mill Creek Canyon restaurant in 1982, has been turned down for a parole for the third time.
The Utah Board of Pardons scheduled his next parole hearing for 2002."That's a very generous rehearing. We're very supportive about his progress," said board Chairman Michael Sibbett. "It's the strongest mitigating issue. Without that he could have a natural life sentence."
At his June 2 parole hearing, Moore, 38, argued that he is an appropriate parole candidate because Utah's system of in-de-ter-mi-nate sentencing is designed to reward inmates for reforming their lives.
Without hope of early release, inmates have little incentive to change, Moore told board member Don Blanchard in June.
Moore runs many of the prison's computers, has volunteered 12,000 hours and teaches English and reading to other inmates. Income from his job has allowed him to save $40,000, which he has in-vest-ed.
Moore is serving two sentences of five years to life. He shot Jordan Rasmussen, 32, who was to replace him as manager of Log Haven, in the restaurant's driveway. When Buddy Booth, 24, drove up with a load of laundry, Moore killed him to eliminate a potential witness.
Moore, who has converted to Mormonism, contacted the Rasmussen family through a Mormon bishop to apologize for killing the father of three. After seeing him at an October 1993 hearing, several family members forgave Moore. The victim's father, Eldon, told the parole board on June 2 the family would accept a decision to give Moore an early release.
"We have forgiven him because we feel that is in the hands of the Lord," said one family member.
No one from Buddy Booth's family was present at the hearing. His widow later met with parole officials.
"We didn't want him out," said his widow, Carla Doty, who raised their two infant children alone.
"The way I see it, it's an eye for eye, and a tooth for a tooth," Doty said. "I don't want other innocent families to suffer the same thing. What's to say if he gets out and gets in the same situation, he won't do it again?"
The crimes that put inmates behind bars are a bigger factor in parole decisions than what prisoners accomplish while locked up, parole board members say.