Barry Beach

Montana Legislature

The Montana House Wednesday overwhelmingly voted to give the governor the power to grant clemency, even if the board of Pardons and Parole disagrees.

Billings Democrat Margie Macdonald says it’s not fair that the Board can block a clemency request from going to the governor.

Montana House Approves Changes To State Parole Board

Jan 26, 2015
Courtesy Montana Legislature

The Montana House gave preliminary approval to two bills to revise the state Board of Probation and Parole.

These bills are among a handful of bills aimed at making the Parole board more accountable and transparent.

Eliza Wiley

Gov. Bullock introduced his Medicaid expansion plan this week. It promises to help the uninsured and bring Montana tax dollars back to the state. Bullock's plan faces opposition from Republicans who worry Medicaid and other welfare programs are riddled with fraud and create disincentives to work.

Casey Page/Billings Gazette

Montana's parole board this week rejected a clemency application from Barry Beach.
    That means he'll continue to serve a 100-year sentence for the 1979 killing of high school classmate, Kim Nees, on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

In an unusual step, Governor Steve Bullock has sent a two-page letter to the state Board of Pardons and Parole, outlining why he thinks the board should recommend clemency for convicted murderer Barry Beach. The board is set to hear Beach's application for clemency April 29th. Beach has already served 30 years of a 100-year sentence for the 1979 murder of Poplar teen Kim Nees. He has long maintained his innocence, and was granted a new trial by a district judge in 2011.