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'Nice guy' escaped inmate wants commuted sentence

NBC WXIA - Local News
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A high-powered attorney and author is now representing the Georgia inmate who escaped the law for nearly 50 years. 

Robert Stackowitz was sentenced to 17 years in prison for robbery. He walked away from the Carroll County Correctional Institute in 1968. Last week, authorities found him living in Connecticut under a fake name. 

He may have been a young man when he escaped, but he's now an old man back behind bars. 

Now, his attorney is reaching out to Georgia's Board of Pardons and Paroles and asking them to commute his sentence.

"He’s a wonderful guy. He's a simple guy. He knows he made horrible mistakes. He knows it was wrong to walk away from the plantation so to speak, but he’s just looking to live out the balance of his life in peace," Norm Pattis said.

Pattis said the first order of business will be to appeal to the Board of Pardons and Parole to show mercy and commute the rest of his sentence. 

"The traditional purposes of incarceration are rehab and deterrence and punishment. He’s already been punished. He did two and half years. He’s been rehabilitated. He spent the last 48 years in Connecticut without committing another crime," Pattis said. 

Until his arrest last week, Stackowitz lived a quiet life as Bob Gordon. 

"He was a local boat mechanic, he’d plow snow in the winter for folks. Nice guy kept to himself, you would have never known," neighbor David Schneiderbeck said. 

In most states, it's up to the governor to commute sentences. Georgia is one of just three states which gives that power to the board. 

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