Eighteen years is not enough time for Robert Hudson to stay behind bars at Benner Township state prison.
The Pennsylvania Board of Pardons and Parole came to that unanimous decision after a hearing on Hudson’s application for commutation. Hudson was convicted of the March 1999 Johnstown shooting death of Robert Hawks, 35, who was involved in a relationship with Michelle Clark.
Clark, now 49, was also having an illegal sexual relationship with Hudson. He was just 15. She continues to serve a 12-to-30-year sentence at Cambridge Springs state prison for conspiring in the murder and soliciting Hudson to commit it, as well as having sex with a teenage boy.
Hudson is now 34. He entered a guilty plea in his case and got a 25-to-50-year sentence. When he reaches the minimum for release, he will be 40. If he stays for the max, he will be at retirement age.
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He was not the only applicant to have a commutation denied.
A Huntingdon state prison inmate, Edward Printup, 57, was also denied by a vote of three in favor to one opposed. All commutation votes must be unanimous.
Printup is serving a life sentence for the 1980 murder of his stepfather and a 1982 escape attempt.
The board did approve 68 pardon applications, which now proceed to Gov. Tom Wolf for review.