Nebraska man’s life sentenced commuted

Reginald Bennett

Nebraska's Board of Pardons has commuted the life sentence of a man convicted of murder in 1978. Because of the vote from the board on Tuesday, 54-year-old Reginald Bennett is eligible for parole this year.

Bennett was convicted of killing retired postal worker James Sloan Jr. of Omaha. Bennett threw a rock that hit Sloan, who fell down a staircase.

Bennett had no record of serious crime and has had a clean prison record. Secretary of State John Gale and Attorney General John Bruning voted to commute Bennett's sentence, saying he didn't intentionally kill Sloan and that experts say he is very unlikely to commit a crime if released.

Gov. Dave Heineman voted against commutation, saying there is no chance Bennett will be a danger if he stays in prison.