The Ohio Parole Board

The purpose of the Ohio Parole Board is laid out on this website This is the official drc website. The basic purpose is to make sure that people who have committed crimes do not get released too early and get out and reoffend. However, as you will see, the Ohio Parole Board abuses its authority and no one cares or watches over them.
We all know there are innocent people in prison. We also know that many inmates claim their innocence and are really guilty. But how many innocent people are in prison? Let me give you an example. For most people who have been involved in a criminal case, there is DNA evidence. However, there wasn’t always DNA, not until 1986. What about those individuals who were convicted before that date? Well, in some cases people can go back and get the DNA evidence and have it tested again and maybe, if they are innocent, they can get released. But, some people have fallen through even those cracks. Some people have had their evidence destroyed. Is that lawful? Well, not anymore it isn’t, according to a law enacted in July 6, 2010 found here Now, it would require written notice sent to the offender as well as the Attorney General, Ohio public Defenders office, the attorney or record for the offender and the county prosecutor. However, what about those offenders who have had their DNA destroyed before this law? Well, they must take their chances with the Ohio Parole Board. This brings me to my experience with the Ohio Parole Board.
My name is Lori Wampler. I am married to an inmate, Charles “Keith” Wampler. Some people would think this is weird or strange. It all started about 7 years ago when I had watched something on tv about inmates and how they need outside support and some didn’t have any. So, I wrote to a few. Only one stood out. He was very up front about everything and very intelligent. I knew he was in prison for life, with possibility for parole. He also told me that he did not do this crime (aggravated murder, for which he was convicted of when he was 16) At first I thought, oh right, but I read everything he had, transcripts and after having others read it as well, I realized, wait maybe he didn’t do this. Things just didn’t add up. I married him on October 27, 2008, despite knowing this because love doesn’t care what the circumstances are. After being married, we tried to fight, however, attorneys want money, which we have none. So we decided to wait it out and see what happened at the Parole Board. He had seen the Parole Board before and had always told them he was innocent and they just gave him 10 more years. We figured since he had served more than 31 years at that point, they would release him. He was to see the parole Board again in 2013. I found out through the Ohio Parole Board that you could set up a family meeting and see a member of the Parole Board a couple of months ahead of time and basically tell why you think he should be released. Also, I was told that they do not listen to pleas of innocence. So, what do we do now? We have no money to fight, we have no DNA, thanks to Judge John W. Kessler signing off on having it destroyed before the law prohibiting this in 2010. Upon seeing a Parole Board member (Trayce Thalheimer) at the family meeting, she informed me first thing “you do know we can give him 10 years”. Ok, so I am now nervous. She also informed me that he had always claimed his innocence and that they would not be listening to that. Also, that if he would admit to the crime and show remorse, things would go much better for him. Everything went as well as could be expected though and I went home. I thought about it and decided our only chance was for him to admit and lie and say he was guilty and that he was sorry. Part of this was true, he did feel bad for what happened, but it wasn’t his doing. And, honestly the Ohio Parole Board leaves you no choice if you ever want to get released. He was more hesitant that I, he said he would never admit to something he hadn’t done, but I finally convinced him that this was our only shot. Now, I have all documents to prove what I am about to say, they are also found directly underneath this. There is all information on the Ohio Parole Board, including official documents to corroberate everything I will say. Keith had a good prison record, only one fight in 31 years, never failed a drug test or was in any serious trouble. So, I figured we had a good shot. (Below you will find letters written by family and friends, certificates he has earned in prison, all legal documents pertaining to the Ohio Parole Board.)
In July Keith saw the Ohio Parole Board, when he came back he immediately called me and told me that they gave him 10 more years, after questioning him for more than an hour. I was devastated and so was he. Once he left their meeting they sent him to a psychologist at the prison. She was even shocked that he had gotten 10 more years. Everyone at the prison was shocked honestly, even staff members and they know him better than the parole board does, they’ve only seen him once, whereas the people at the prison see him every day. Their reasons were because they thought he needed more education, programs like drug addiction because 31 years ago, (before he was convicted he smoked marajuana and drank), to which you can find documentation from the psychologist stating that not only does he not need this (he has never tested positive for drugs) she cannot put him into these programs because it is a needs basis, meaning only those who need it can get into these programs. There is also documentation stating from the prison during an evaluation dated April 3, 2013, before seeing the parole board that he has no need for any programs. Also, after his parole board meeting, in which he was given 10 more years, stating he needs more programs,another evaluation was done by the prison dated August 15, 2013, he was told the same thing, no need for programs. In addition, they knocked his security to minimum security. Does any of this make sense?
I proceeded to ask who controls the Ohio Parole Board. Well, I found out that they are appointed by the Governors office, so I called them, even sent them a packet of all documents contained in the website above. They informed me that he should file for clemency we are waiting for a response on this now), which as I found out goes through the Ohio Parole Board. What kind of sense does that make? Also, I made calls to the ODRC, which is the office of Director Gary Mohr. I was told that I could not speak to Gary Mohr, to which I replied that I would come to his office and talk to him there. The next day the Ohio State Highway Patrol was at my door, asking about why I wanted to see Gary Mohr. What law did I break? I asked the officers this and they said none, they just wanted  to make sure I wasn’t a threat. It is not against the law for me to want to speak to Gary Mohr, he owes me answers, the Parole Board owes me answers. However, I cannot get any of them to answer anything. According to the Ohio Parole Board they do not tape these hearings they have with inmates. Who does that protect? Certainly not the offenders. It just makes it easier for the Ohio Parole Board to say whatever they want to inmates and act with whatever they decide to do. How are they allowed to sentence someone to another 10 years? How is that fair? They are acting as judges and not even willing to listen to the entire story. They take what they want, do what they want, and there is no record of what they do, so no backlash.
Next you will see the Governor’s response to my husband’s request for clemency. There are some things I would like to point out about his response.
1st – His response came within days of him ending his campaign for President, making it obvious that there is no way that he has time to review the facts for himself. This shows that when it comes to the life and the liberty of someone who is not only an American citizen, but a citizen of Ohio, the state that Governor Kasich is sworn to serve, he didn’t feel the issue was important enough to merit his time. So Governor Kasich either blindly accepted the Parole Board’s recommendation or he allowed someone else to form his opinion for him. Either way it is not a good sign for someone who wants to be a leader.

18 Replies to “The Ohio Parole Board”

  1. Thank you so much for putting your story out there for those to read and gain some outside knowledge on how Ohio Parole Board operates, because i am going through a similar situation with my husband Christopher W Smith here in South Carolina who is incarcerated for 3 months now in county jail due to Ohio Parole saying that they are going to extradite him back up there for 1 violation in 4 1\2 years out of a 5 year parole supervision and i have not had hardly any contact back from the parole office in regards to what is going on and what is going to happen except 1 call I made 2 weeks ago to them and i finally got the one who is supervising his Interstate Compact that we have been trying for months to reach and she was very rude and seemed heartless as to his confinement here in county jail and they have 31 days to pick him up and bring him in front of the Parole Board for his violation hearing, now with that said my husband had a Administration Hearing here from SC Parole Office in Orangeburg County and was reinstated for his remaining months on parole because here in South Carolina is where he has established residence since his release from Ohio Prison in 2013. So with all that said me and my husband are frustrated to no end as to what to do now and who to contact from here because Ohio parole and parole board really no feeling for offenders like my husband who HAVE NOT BEEN IN ANY TROUBLE WHAT SO EVER and live a normal life and carry on the best way they can in society and get no get no pat in the back or hand shack for the good offenders do, and it’s a shame it really is. Now i have no choice but to contact a lawyer here and whoever else to get my husband out and back with his family and try to continue a normal life again.I thank you again for giving me knowledge on how Ohio parole board operates.

    1. I’m in the same situation my little brother has been locked up for 33years, he was a teenager bound over as a adult , board says they gave him 16/life with possibility of parole, only 1 fight ,passes every drug test, hes been raped several times, he stands up for his self so he doesnt get messed with now , model minuim security prisoner, he was recommended parole in 2008 when our mother was alive we registered him at sheriffs department had his I’d made everything job help lined up, big board came back and pulled his release said he needs more programming, our mother passed october3,2009 of cancer, I made promise I’d fight to get my brother home which I do everyday, my brother goes up every 3 years just for them to say more programming after they try and pin crimes being done by a step brother that we have nothing to do with, these crimes out on street are being done when my brother is imprisoned, board can see that but try to push it, my brother stands up to board holds his own straightens it out board gets mad cause they know they have nothing on my brother so they say programs, don did same program in marion for almost 20 years, board recommended the reintegration program so he can come home, gets to final phase and they send him to marion due to redoing buildings they need the room, so now hes back at Marion’s ncic prison till board in March recommends him to do the reintegration program again so itll be another 3 years ,I called orc lady that answered started out nice till I asked why they moved him back he has to do program fully in order to come home according to board that’s why he was transferred to the program we were told he would stay at grafton till next hearing march 2019 program would be done, don had another 10/12months to go the final phase of program which grafton started late cause deputy warden didnt even want him in she tryed to fight it , lady said I was rude ,smarting off, screaming at her I was talking normal , now his iplayer hasn’t worked since transfer,TV got broke during transfer grafton left on transport bus got a day after he got to marion broke both prisons refuse to fix or take fault, video visit machine has been broke for a month so I have to keep rescheduling, I believe board is having him messed with cause they have nothing to hold over his head, they are trying to break him , just not right that these people can do what they want and get away with it cause they know you cant afford a lawyer just not right. Sad part it was proven in court my brother wasn’t the offender, the kid who did crime got put on stand first he plead the 5th , walked in and walked out free, crime was pinned on my brother due to being a high profile case someone had to go down for it, we couldn’t afford a lawyer don had court appointed and here we are 33 years later still fighting for home, just isnt right needs to change and now.

  2. I’m in the same situation. My fiance is 34- been locked up since 15 because of the great Ohio accomplice law. Would love an update from u and am praying. He’s in after a botched trial.. no evidence… no murder weapon.. no dna… the whole trial based on hear say! I don’t give up hope tho!! I’m praying one day they’ll give him a second chance. We have til 2037 for chance at parole! Its truly devastating how our judicial system fails so many!

  3. Lori and Keith … thanks for sharing your story … the two of you will be in my continued thoughts and prayers. I have been a prison Chaplain for 12 years and I have experienced far too many times the lack of accountability for Ohio judges, prosecutors, and the judicial process is of appeal is so convoluted and unfair … as Bryan Stevenson said, the rich who are guilty go free and the poor who are innocent are sent to jail!

    1. Jack,
      I sincerely apologize for the delay in responding to your comment. We thank you for your interest in our story and your thoughts and prayers. We agree with your assessment of the judicial system. We would appreciate it if you could send anyone else to our website and our story. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Feel free to email me at [email protected]
      Keith and Lori

  4. These Ohio Parole Board mbrs. are dishonest and using their official duty to personal gain. They cost Ohio Taxpayers Billions of $$. Their salaries are over $100,000.00 and not paroling ppl is costing, especially the offenders in their control are “old law” pre 1996 law passed are nearing or geriatrics with high medical costs as well!!!!

  5. Evening,I have a loved one in the same situation. LIFE WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF PAROLE. I’m curious if any one has heard of any groups or class action suits being brought against the Ohio parole board especially after former member Shirley Smith confirmed everyone’s worst night mares are true. I am interested in getting inmates home who have completed the time but are being denied the right to return to their families..

    1. Let me know if you receive any information. I have a loved one that has been down 18+ yrs and I too would like to bring home those who have served their time. People forget they are human beings and have loved ones waiting on them.

  6. @Dawn…..Keep me informed if you hear of any groups or lawsuits being that I have a loved one that has been down 18+ yrs on some here say nonsense and was looking to see if there was any help out there. I rep the ex senators piece on the corrupt parole board and I’m not shocked by anything I read.

  7. Currently everyone on this site needs to start a letter writing campaign to Ohio Senators and our Gov. DeWine. With the recent events of Mrs. Smith confirming misconduct and unfair practices, this is the time to push for change. Write to as many law makers as possible and send off a letter weekly if possible as well as to the Gov. If you go to Ohio legislators web site you can add comments directly to them. I would write up a letter and copy and paste to each of them, which I have already done so. Also call their offices. Have as many friend and family help. With our efforts we can make a change. No prisoner left behind!

  8. Dear Honorable Members of the Parole Board:

    Regards to Carin Madden #47235
    My Name is Marilyn Hunter, along time friend of Carin Madden and family. I have know Carin since birth. Prior to incarceration, she was a vibrant, loving, Caring and always laughing young lady. Although I have not visited with Carin, I stay very informed of all the achievements that she has made. She is a very bright intelligent woman. I feel she has learned by her mistake and Carin has a lot to offer to society.

  9. Dear Honorable Members of the Parole Board:

    Re: Carin Madden #47235

    I am Carin Madden’s mother. She has been a good and loving daughter to me. She has always cared deeply about her family and friends. Since being incarcerated , all my visits with my daughter Carin, I have seen her grow into the woman I always knew she would be. When my daughter is released, I will be there with love and support that I know she will be needing. I am truly looking forward to spending time and making new memories with my daughter. Thank you for your consideration.

  10. Just off the phone with Q&A Analysis -they assured me that these 3 new Parole Board members make it racially balanced & that new changes are being implemented…I too am very frustrated,aggravated,& at times loose hope after 29 years-BUT-we must not loose hope & pray for the change to come -are loved ones need our support

  11. Edward Brown A233896 has served 30 years under old law. He was due to see parole board September 2020. He had amazing support letters, no tickets in 5 years, and is a completely changed man. He did get a charge 12 years ago in Trumball for assault which is explainable but nothing since. They never prepped him for the board, no appointed court attorney, just took him to a room on september 3, 2020 and over video there’s the parole board. They said they’d let him know something in 30 to 45 days. 74 days later November 11, 2020 we realized they denied him and will review again in 10 years . No one expected that, it was a crucial smack to us all. This is extreme and down right ridiculous. We figure the reason being nature of the crime but in another case a year ago Christopher Hayes walked out with 5 years same crime .The nature of the crime will never change but he has and is no risk to society. Edward’s codefendant has been free 12 years. I’m so confused how justice works especially ohio parole board. Justice has definately not been served at all. Hoping someone reads this and could possibly help. Thanks

  12. Why, for one, has he spent so long in prison when he was only 16 when convicted? Also, sentencing a juvenile to life, if thats what he was sentenced, is now illegal and he deserves at least to be re-sentenced. And, how can they make him wait 10 years to become eligible for another parole hearing? Why was he not given any time to prepare before such an important event as the last parole hearing? People are usually eligible every 2 years for a new hearing, and they are given ample time to prepare. If witnesses are actually telling the truth now, why is the justice system ignoring them and not giving him a chance at a fair trial? There are so many guilty people out there that need to finally admit their wrongs and put things right. This entire case needs to be investigated by new, professional people that are completely new to the case so they are not influenced by the wrong people, the lies, and the injustices that have been done in the past. Then, justice may finally be served.

    1. We live in Ohio. He was sentenced to 20-life with a chance at parole. The reasoning behind the amount of time he has spent in prison is unclear to us. He just had a hearing last week, because of a new law SB 256 regarding juveniles. Per that law the maximum amount of time they can continue him for now is 5 years, and he was given that 5 year continuance, even though the chairman of the parole panel stated that he had achieved a great deal educationally, had great support system on the outside and an excellent conduct record. He had been to the parole board 2 times prior and was continued for 10 years each time. In Ohio, the parole board can continue an adult for up to 10 years at a time. Per SB 256, they can only continue someone who was a juvenile for up to 5 years at a time. In answer to your question about why he hasn’t been given a new trial, he hasn’t been given new trial because everywhere he turns he is basically being told his case is too old to be reopened without new evidence. If you have questions about the recent parole haring, feel free to ask. If you have any questions about the case up to that point, you can go to

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