NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The joint Ad-Hoc Committee to Review the Adequacy of the Supervision, Investigation, and Release of Criminal Defendants met Wednesday—where new information about Cleotha Abston Henderson, the Truth in Sentencing law, and how often he went in front of the TDOC Disciplinary, or ‘D’ board, for different infractions while imprisoned was revealed.
“Does every infraction go in front of the D-Board?” Rep. Andrew Farmer (R-Sevierville) asked. “I believe so, yes sir,” TDOC Assistant Commissioner of Prison Operations Lee Dotson answered.
Henderson is the man accused of abducting and killing Memphis teacher Eliza Fletcher back in early September of this year.
“So, in Mr. Henderson’s case, and I believe he had 53…would I be right to think that his case filing it up [sic] in front of the D-Board 53 times?” Farmer said.
“Yes sir, depending on where he…not necessarily the same D-Board, you know, he may have been moved along through the system and transferred to different facilities,” Dotson said.
“And out of those 53 times…I guess they could have had the possibility of taking every second of his good time away,” Farmer said. “How many days [were] taken from this man? I think it was a little over 100, 100-200. 180.”
As Farmer noted, lawmakers say Henderson had 53 infractions in prison, like several instances of possession of a deadly weapon.
Of course, though, there’s certainly a debate. Matthew Charles served 21 years of a 35-year sentence for drug dealing and illegal gun possession before turning his life around.
“If you take away those credits, then you have an individual just like these hearings are based off of, a Cleotha, who went in, refused to take programs. He’s a hard case, whether he got out this year or next year,” Charles said. “He was probably prone to still commit the violent act that he had. But, whenever you start changing policy or laws just because of the worst-case scenario, you take away from the 90 or 95 percent of those people that do want to change.”