Jim Schuman’s charges that he conspired to have his wife killed were the result of a never-ending divorce/custody case that left him clinically depressed. The judge, frustrated over the parties’ inability to agree, at one point placed his children into foster care. At this critical moment, in deteriorating health and suffering from deep depression, an employee, whose criminal past Jim was minimally aware of and who was later paid $1000 in crime stoppers’ money, approached Jim with a plan to have someone “scare his wife” into resolving the divorce.
When Jim finally expressed interest, the employee went to the police saying Jim wanted his wife killed. The employee then introduced Jim to an undercover officer passing as a hit man Jim ultimately agreed to the “hit man’s” proposed plan. Jim states he intended to call off the plan but was arrested before he could do so. While no money was ever paid and no one was hurt, Jim was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to 35 years in prison.
Jim has no criminal record. He has an excellent work history and has job skills he could put to immediate use if paroled. Both his children strongly supported him throughout his trial. He has served 18 ½ years of his sentence, with absolutely no major conduct reports. He has used his time in prison well, tutoring other inmates, working other jobs, and furthering his education where possible. Prison authorities have rated him as a low risk for violent behavior or committing another crime if released.
Jim is 64 years old. Both his parents are in their mid 80s and in poor health. His son’s wife has been battling cancer for years. He has taken full responsibility for his crime. Despite all these factors, he has been denied parole on numerous occasions.
Here are his son’s Skip’s words after reading a transcript from his father’s parole hearing: “It is my opinion, in all the previous hearings, the commissioners came across as completely biased with predetermined decisions. The use of incendiary, misleading sophistry shows no actual consideration or discussion for parole. One might think the parole commission would be more useful investigating and assisting inmates to target how they will support and establish themselves to be assets to society, rather than detaining a created, continued expense for taxpayers.
"It is time to release James Schuman."