(AL.com) — A possible parole date has been set for the man who killed an Alabama abortion provider in Pensacola in 1993. It's in 2043.
Michael Frederick Griffin, an anti-abortion activist, fatally shot Dr. David Gunn of Eufala, Ala., outside a Pensacola clinic in March 1993. Although Florida has largely done away with parole, the details of Griffin's case had made him eligible for review after serving 25 years of his life sentence.
That review came Wednesday, alarming abortion-right supporters who said Gunn had emboldened other extremists to add to a wave of lethal violence against providers. Some said his parole would have a similar effect.
According to information provided by the Florida Commission on Offender Review, "In the Initial Interview held today in the case of Michael Griffin, the Commission voted to set the Presumptive Parole Release Date (PPRD) for March 9, 2043 with a Next Interview Date (NID) of July 2024."
No further comment about the Commission's reasoning was included in the statement.
The case is thought to be the first in which anti-abortion protests escalated to the level of a lethal attack on a provider. It had a national impact, leading among other things to laws restricting some protest activities.