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Former Savannah prosecutor joins Georgia parole board

February 3, 2021 GMT

ATLANTA (AP) — A former top prosecutor in Savannah is the newest member of Georgia’s parole board.

Meg Heap was sworn in Tuesday as a member of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, according to an agency news release. Her appointment to the board was effective Jan. 19.

“I take on this role with a passion to work to enhance public safety for all of our citizens and to improve this agency overall,” Heap said in the release. “The decisions this Board makes affect people’s lives; offenders, victims and citizens alike. I am humbled to be asked to become a member of the Parole Board.”

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Heap, a Republican, was elected district attorney for the Eastern Judicial Circuit in 2012 and served for eight years until she lost her bid for reelection last year.

Parole board members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate to serve a seven-year term. They are full-time state employees tasked with determining whether prisoners can be released on parole.

They have the power to issue pardons and to restore political, civil and gun rights. The board is the only authority in Georgia that can commute a death sentence.