New Hampshire Gov. Steve Merrill’s five-member Executive Council voted unanimously to release June Briand from prison on work-release in April. Briand has served nearly 10 years in prison for fatally shooting her abusive husband. She was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison, but her lawyer hoped last month’s hearing would land Briand in a halfway house sooner than April. Briand pledged to help other battered women upon her release from prison, which is conditional upon good behavior.