Death row inmate with cancer seeks parole
St. Louis, MO – A Missouri death row inmate is seeking medical parole so he can be treated for late-stage throat cancer.
Brian Kinder has appealed to the Missouri Parole Board for early release to a medical facility, claiming he is not receiving adequate care in prison.
Relatives of Cynthia Williams say they will fight to keep Kinder, 47, behind bars for her 1992 rape and murder in Crystal City.
"My mom didn't have a choice for medical care," said Donielle Williams, 27, the victim's daughter. "There was no one to see after her when he raped and beat her."
Kinder's lawyer, Fred Duchardt Jr., said Kinder has complained for years that the Department of Corrections did not provide proper care for his symptoms. Kinder's voice box was removed because of the cancer, the attorney said.
"He persistently made requests for treatment over the years and was put off by the system until the thing really reared its ugly head in the last year," Duchardt said.
Duchardt said he did not know if doctors thought Kinder's death is imminent. He said Kinder made his request after a medical evaluation.
If his request is approved, Kinder would be released into the care of a medical facility. He would return to prison if his health improved.
The Parole Board will interview Kinder and his doctor and review a stack of reports before making a decision. The victim's family will get a chance to be heard, said Brian Hauswirth, a Corrections Department spokesman.
"We believe our inmates receive excellent medical care," Hauswirth said. The department's medical service costs about $100 million a year.
Cynthia Williams, 32, a distant cousin of Kinder's, was a mother of three and a clerk for the St. Louis County recorder of deeds when she was beaten to death with a metal pipe in her home three days before Christmas in 1990.
Kinder has always maintained that he is innocent, and Duchardt said an appeal for a new trial is pending after the Missouri Supreme Court ordered new DNA testing last year.
Medical paroles from death row are rare. Faye Copeland, who was released to a nursing home in 2002, had served time on death row, but her murder conviction was already reduced by a federal judge to life in prison.
Oklahoma executed a terminally ill inmate on June 26.