Hundley spoke at the hearing, with a number of former lifers who followed his program seated in a room behind him. When the unanimous decision was announced, they could be seen applauding the news.
During the hearing, Hundley and others spoke about what Montgomery had accomplished in prison, including his years working in the prison screen printing shop and the length of his stay.
“There is nothing left for him to do at Louisiana State Penitentiary,” Hundley said. “It’s time for Henry to come home.”
His release was not without opposition. Hurt, the deputy sheriff Montgomery killed, was married and had three children. Two of his daughters met Montgomery in prison and forgave him, but his family members opposed his release. A prosecutor in the area where the Montgomery crime took place has spoken out against his parole, as has one of the MP’s daughters, Linda Hurt Woods.
“I don’t think he should be released just yet,” Woods said, saying the decision shows a deep disrespect for law enforcement officials. “He made a decision at 17. You know right from wrong at 17. I did.”
Montgomery himself said little during the hearing of about half an hour. According to his lawyer Keith Nordyke, he is extremely hard of hearing and Nordyke often had to repeat the questions of the members of the board of directors. Sometimes Montgomery said he struggled to find words to express himself.