Found an article that might be of some interest, although it's 3 years old. It was written after gov. Perrys commutations of the DR offenders who were 17 at the time of the crime, but it's mostly about the men who were on DR when it was shut down back in the early 70ies:
Death row cons could be free someday
Recent court-ordered commutations may go way of '72's Furman 47
07:39 AM CDT on Tuesday, July 26, 2005
By DIANE JENNINGS / The Dallas Morning News
The notion that 28 Texas death row inmates might ever walk the streets seemed far-fetched last month when Gov. Rick Perry commuted their sentences to life in prison.
PAUL S. HOWELL/Special Contributor
'They'll have to do 40 [years], and after they do the 40, just as sure as the sun's coming up in the morning, they'll get out,' former death row inmate Calvin Sellars, part of 1972's mass commutation, said of inmates whose sentences were recently commuted.
But if history is any indication, most of them will indeed be freed one day.
Arthur Broussard was.
Mr. Broussard, 58, was part of the Furman 47, the last mass commutation of condemned Texas inmates. That was in 1972, after the Supreme Court decision Furman vs. Georgia, which halted the death penalty for four years.
Fourteen years after his commutation, Mr. Broussard was paroled. He had been condemned for killing a Houston grocery store clerk in 1969.
"I never thought I'd get out," he recalled in a telephone interview recently.
In fact, most of the Furman 47 were released. According to state prison records reviewed by The Dallas Morning News, 40 of the former death row inmates - 85 percent - have been released. Of the seven not released, two died in prison. Five others are still locked up.
At least two of the commuted inmates killed again, including Kenneth McDuff, who drew two more capital sentences in the 1990s for the murders of Melissa Ann Northrup and Colleen Reed. He was executed in 1998.
The collective fate of the Furman 47 contradicts the predictions of those who said inmates in the latest mass commutation probably would never again go free.
Mr. Perry had no choice but to commute the sentences after the Supreme Court ruled this year that the execution of offenders who were younger than 18 when they committed their crimes violated constitutional protections against cruel or unusual punishment.
Most of the 28 men whose sentences were commuted recently were sentenced after the early 1990s, when a life term for capital crimes in Texas meant a minimum of 40 years. Texas added a life-without-parole sentence in the recent legislative session.
These inmates were 17 at the time of their crimes, so most will be in their 50s when they first become eligible for parole.
Some criminal justice experts doubt that succeeding generations will want to foot the bill to keep these men and thousands of other elderly prisoners behind bars that long. And, experts note, Texas prisons are nearly full again after a decade of tough-on-crime sentencing.
"It's going to be an issue for the Legislature and the parole board, 20, 30 years from now, what they want to do with these people" said Shannon Edmonds, staff attorney for the Texas District and County Attorneys Association.
"But the reality is, those decisions are going to be guided more by the problems that those people are facing then, than what those people did back when they committed their offense," she said. "It's always been the way it's happened.
"I would probably expect at least some of them to be paroled."
Robert Black, spokesman for Mr. Perry said: "It's quite a stretch to try and predict what will happen 30 years from now, but in Texas we do have a system in place where the parole board will look at each case individually and make a recommendation. Gov. Perry has to put his faith in the system that's in place that it will work properly on behalf of the people of Texas."
Of those who were part of the 1972 mass commutation, 22 committed new offenses. They range from minor infractions such as trespassing to major crimes such as murder.
The most notorious reoffender was Mr. McDuff. He's "the one that scares everybody," said James Marquart, a criminologist who studied the commuted inmates in the mid-1980s.
Another inmate killed his girlfriend and himself shortly after he was released in 1985, Dr. Marquart said. He could not identify the inmate, and no records reflecting that crime are available.
Of the 22 who reoffended, about two-thirds involved major felonies. Crimes committed in other states might not appear in state records.
According to state records, one former condemned inmate was eventually pardoned, and two had their cases dismissed.
"That's the thing with the death penalty," said Dr. Marquart of the widely varying outcomes. "You don't know."
About half of those paroled returned to prison, either for new convictions or technical violations of their parole, but many of them returned to quiet lives in the community.
Mr. Broussard, for instance, has met with his parole officer regularly for 19 years. He has, he said, done all right - even though he wasn't sure he would. When first told about his parole after more than 15 years of incarceration, "I didn't want to go," he said. "I didn't know nothing but the penitentiary."
Despite his trepidation, Mr. Broussard found work, got married, has not been in trouble with the law again and doesn't expect to be. He said he prays daily for forgiveness. Relatives of his victim could not be located.
The sentencing laws under which Mr. Broussard and other inmates were imprisoned and released were far different from those now, even from when some of the current commutees were sentenced.
In the 1960s, a death sentence could be handed down not only for murder but for armed robbery or rape. But inmates could accrue "good time" - time off a sentence for good behavior - and if someone got life, it usually meant about 14 years behind bars. At some points in prison history, when overcrowding was an issue, a lifer could come up for parole after serving far less time.
Those commuted in 1972 spent an average of 10 additional years in prison. One got out six months later, when his case was overturned; that presumably could have happened even if he hadn't been commuted.
Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, said experience dictates that some of the recently commuted inmates will be paroled eventually.
"It'll depend on the crime and it'll depend on the individual," he said, "but sure, some of them will be certainly eligible, and some will be paroled."
By the time they are paroled, however, they will be different people, he said, because of the difference between ages 17 and 57.
Former death row inmate Calvin Sellars agreed that age is a factor in how well an ex-con will do in the free world.
"Time takes care of everything," Mr. Sellars said. "They straighten up, not because of choice but because of age. Time - it takes a toll on you."
Mr. Sellars, 62, spent more than six years on death row. His cell was 12 feet from the electric chair, and he came within 18 hours of execution.
Six years after his sentence was commuted by the Furman decision, Mr. Sellars was released, not paroled. Representing himself, he convinced a federal judge in 1977 that he had been wrongly convicted on perjured police testimony. His case was dismissed.
Mr. Sellars, who now works as a legal investigator, said he was not surprised to learn that most of the men he knew on death row had been paroled.
"Time goes by, life goes on," he said, adding that the public eventually forgets even horrific crimes.
He expects those recently removed from death row to walk free in the future.
"They'll have to do 40 [years], and after they do the 40, just as sure as the sun's coming up in the morning, they'll get out," he said.
Mr. Sellars returned to prison for three years in the mid-1990s for carrying a prohibited weapon.
"You would have thought this guy would never get in trouble again," he mused. But, he said, he had a problem with alcohol and got into a confrontation at a bar while carrying a gun. He has quit drinking and hasn't had any other problems, and like Mr. Broussard, he doesn't expect to. Neither Mr. Broussard nor Mr. Sellars keeps in touch with fellow death row inmates.
For Mr. Broussard, who is still on parole, it's against the rules. But Mr. Sellars said he has no desire to see the rest of the Furman 47.
"No," he said, adding wryly that on death row, "there's no 'band of brothers.' "
WHERE ARE THE FURMAN 47?
A look at what happened to the 47 men whose death sentences were commuted to life terms when the U.S. Supreme Court abolished capital punishment in 1972.
40 were paroled or released
23 are alive today
22 have died
2 have undetermined fates
10 years served, on average, after commutation and before parole or release
18 of those released later had their parole revoked
22 of those released later had new convictions
9 of the convictions were for violent or sexual offenses*
*The nature of one new conviction couldn't be determined.