November 20, 2003
Re "Panel Calls Prison Policies Costly Failure," Nov. 14: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has a great opportunity to make huge savings in our prison system because he does not owe anything to the correctional officers union. Our prisons and parole boards seem to do everything to keep the prison population growing. Not mentioned are the millions of dollars of savings that the new governor can achieve by approving the releases of hundreds of prisoners that the Board of Prison Terms has recommended but which were vetoed by former Gov. Gray Davis.
December 20, 2002
Re "State High Court Endorses Davis' Denials of Parole," Dec. 17: What a terrible decision by the California Supreme Court. Why let the courts and juries hear evidence if their sentences of second-degree murder can be changed, in effect, to first-degree murder without the benefit of parole by the governor without his hearing testimony firsthand? Furthermore, why pay the state Board of Prison Terms commissioners over $90,000 a year if their recommendations are almost always reversed by the governor?
June 9, 2002
Re "State Must Reexamine Manson Follower," June 4: So Superior Court Judge Bob N. Krug needs the state Board of Prison Terms to be more specific about the reasons for denying convicted murderer Leslie Van Houten parole, stating that it wasn't enough merely to claim that she was unsuitable for release because of the gravity of the crime. Try telling that to Rosemary LaBianca's family. I wasn't aware that there had to be any further reason to keep people behind bars other than for the simple fact that they broke the law. We have this sick notion in our society these days that prison is for rehabilitation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 27, 2001
Re "Angry Lawmakers Ax Parole Board Budget," April 23: Congratulations to state Sens. John Burton and Richard Polanco for their political courage in trying to force the Board of Prison Terms to follow the law in granting paroles to deserving prisoners. Every prisoner who merits parole and is not released is costing the taxpayers over $25,000 a year. With education severely underfunded we cannot continue to divert huge sums to keeping people in prison when the law states a release date must be set unless the prisoner remains a danger to society.
March 10, 2000 |
Dealing a rare setback to a governor used to getting his way, a powerful state senator is blocking Gray Davis' attempt to reappoint the controversial chairman of the state Board of Prison Terms. Democrat John Burton of San Francisco, the Senate's president pro tem, says he won't "validate the leadership" of James W. Nielsen by clearing him for a new four-year term as head of the state parole board.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 14, 1999 |
A 55-year-old homeless man was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years to life in prison for strangling his girlfriend and leaving her battered body on the steps of a Ventura elementary school. While handing down the sentence, Superior Court Judge Vincent J. O'Neill Jr. told defendant Jose Garcia that he wished he could wipe out any possibility of parole given the long line of women Garcia has beaten over the last 30 years. "That's not my job, though," the judge said.