Board recommends clemency for brother of acclaimed author

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The brother of prize-winning author John Edgar Wideman has moved one step closer to freedom after a Pennsylvania parole board recommended pardoning him for a 1975 killing.

Robert Wideman was sentenced to life without parole and has been in a state prison since his conviction in a shooting case was the subject of his older brother’s acclaimed 1984 memoir “Brothers and Keepers.”

The Board of Pardons recommended clemency for 68-year-old Wideman following a hearing Thursday. The Post-Gazette says it featured testimony from a judge who prosecuted the case, and from the victim’s sister, who opposed the request.

Wideman’s attorney Mark Schwartz says they’ll be “sweating bullets” awaiting a decision from Gov. Tom Wolf. The Democrat tends to give weight to the board’s recommendation.

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Wideman was charged with murder after participating in a 1975 robbery that resulted in the shooting death of car salesman Nicola Morena.

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