A Genesee County man was granted clemency after serving 38 years behind bars for felony murder.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer granted John E. Aslin clemency a few days before Christmas.

Aslin was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of Parole on December 27, 1984. According to MLive, Aslin was sent to prison in 1984 after he scared a 76-year-old woman (Ella M. Stephens) to death during a home invasion in the Beecher area of Mt. Morris Township. Stephens had a heart attack and died after coming face-to-face with Aslin during the attempted unarmed robbery.

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Gov. Whitmer:

As a former prosecutor, I’ve worked with law enforcement and criminal justice advocates to build a smarter and more equitable justice system within our state. People should take responsibility for their actions and pay their debts to society if they’ve made a mistake, but I’ve also firmly believed that people deserve second chances. In Michigan, we will continue to improve our system of justice to support law enforcement as they do their job, while ensuring that all Michiganders are treated fairly and equally under the law.

It's a very unusual circumstance as Aslin says he never intended to cause harm to the 76-year-old grandmother. However, he did admit that he's always felt responsible for her death. You can read more about what happened that tragic night in 1984, here.

John E. Aslin:

In the neighborhood I grew up in, pretty much everybody was thieves. My social structure was mixed up ... It took me years in prison (to realize that). I’ve changed my thinking tremendously.

It's all about second chances.

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