BOSTON (WWLP) – Before leaving office Governor Baker hopes to commute the sentences of two Massachusetts inmates. 22News has been following the process – and she has more details on where the Governor’s proposal stands now.

Today was the first of two commutation hearings – where members of the Governor’s council consider Baker’s recommendations. And after powerful testimony in favor of Thomas Koonce release the prospect of parole is looking good.

Thomas Koonce was just 20-years-old when he shot and killed a man in New Bedford. Koonce was sentenced to life without parole in 1991. On Wednesday, he sat in front of the Governor’s Council, where witness after witness testified on his behalf.

Including people that he was in prison with. Most of which took the opportunity to thank Thomas for helping with their rehabilitation process.

“I’ve watched grown men break down and cry, myself included in front of Thomas as he corrected us and as he gave us council and helped us begin the healing process.” said Nickolas Dejarnette, a former inmate.

If the Governor’s Council agrees to commute Koonce’s sentence he would not be released from prison immediately. He would however be eligible for parole and a hearing on his release would be scheduled at a later date.

There is one more commutation hearing scheduled a week from today, on February 2. Council members intent to vote on these recommendations after the hearings are done.