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Man sentenced to life granted parole for medical reasons

MONTGOMERY (AP) — The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles decided Monday to parole an ailing 56-year-old inmate to allow him to die a free man at home with his family.

Larry Gibson was sentenced to life without parole for attempted murder in 1992 and has spent the last 14 years in prison.

His weight has dropped from 160 pounds to less than 90 now, and he suffers from emphysema and a failing heart.

Many, including the prosecutor, have considered Gibson's punishment harsh, and his son has since confessed to the shooting that sent his father to jail, the Press-Register of Mobile reported.

It was not clear Monday when Gibson will be released. Brian Corbett, spokesman for the Department of Corrections, told the Press-Register the parole process takes an average of two weeks.

The parole board heard dozens of cases Monday. Unlike many other hearings, no victims or representatives from law enforcement agencies, advocacy groups or the Attorney General's Office were present to speak against Gibson's release.

Gibson was not at the hearing, which is normal for prisoners. But two of his brothers and their wives were present.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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