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Parole board urges release for murderer

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Associated Press

TULSA, Okla. -- A woman sentenced to life in prison for beating her husband to death could be released if the governor approves a recommendation from the pardon and parole board.

The five-member board recommended the life sentence of 57-year-old Norma Jane Lumpkin be commuted and that she be released with time served.

Advocates say Lumpkin never should have been sent to jail for the 1981 death of her husband. They argue she suffered from battered spouse syndrome, which now is used as a defense but wasn't then.

But Lumpkin's former prosecutor says the woman and an 18-year-old neighbor plotted to kill Gilbert Lumpkin and take the proceeds from a $210,000 life insurance policy.

Former Tulsa County Assistant District Attorney Gary McCurdy says little evidence of abuse was presented at her trial and there were no reports of police being called to the home or protective orders.

There is no time limit on how long the governor can consider the board's recommendations.

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