NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ A man has been sentenced to 53 years in prison for shooting a Meriden convenience store owner to death in a case that sparked debate about the state prison system’s early release programs.

Frankie Resto was sentenced Friday in New Haven Superior Court for the June 2012 killing of 70-year-old Ibrahim Ghazal. The 38-year-old Resto pleaded guilty to murder and robbery charges in November.

The case spurred a debate about a prison program that allows inmates to earn credits toward early release with good behavior. Resto was released from prison two months before the killings after finishing a six-year sentence for another robbery. He had earned 199 early release days.

Critics of the “risk-reduction” credit program have been calling for its repeal.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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