See a man off to prison with a 15-year sentence, you expect him to stay gone awhile. Which is why some in Rockwall are surprised to hear that Ray Sumrow is out on parole after 20 months.
Sumrow, 60, was the sixth-term Republican district attorney in Rockwall when convicted twice in 2008.
Prison and parole officials said Sumrow qualified for parole based on a formula that weighs the nature of his crimes and the sum of "flat time," the actual number of days he served, plus "good time" plus "work time."
Of course, about 2/3 of offenders in TDCJ also qualify for parole when you add up good time, work time, and flat time, so they should be released too, by that line of reasoning. But in cases involving regular inmates, that's not how Texas' parole board rolls. Indeed, if the board was routinely so generous in rewarding good time and work time, the state literally could begin shutting down the majority of prisons tomorrow. However, the Sumrow parole decision was a special favor to a former "Prosecutor of the Year," not a typical example of how parole operates in Texas.
It'd be interesting to do a study of offenders convicted during Sumrow's tenure to see how many of them benefited so much from good time and work time credits. I'd bet the ranch it'd be very, very few.