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October 18, 2006

California appellate court orders parole for murderer

Thanks to this post at How Appealing, we all can get the news and read the ruling in which a "California Court of Appeal panel ruled Tuesday that a seriously ailing 82-year-old man who pleaded guilty to murder in 1989 should be freed from prison, setting aside the governor's decision to deny him parole."  The decision in In re Lee, No. B188831 (Cal. App. Oct. 17, 2006) (available here), is fascinating, and here is one notable passage:

We must therefore view the Governor's two reasons within the context of the other factors he must consider to see if some evidence shows Lee continues to pose an unreasonable risk to public safety.  Applying that test, we find no evidence that Lee is likely to commit another crime or that his release would unreasonably endanger the public.  Like the Governor, we do not minimize the seriousness of Lee's offenses 19 years ago, for which society has legitimately punished him.  No reasonable possibility exists, however, that Lee will re-offend.  Other than his offenses here, he has led a crime-free life.  The dispute over the restaurant debt that motivated the shootings occurred almost 20 years ago.  Weakened by the march of time trod by all mortals, Lee is now 82 years old and in poor health, leaving him to hobble from room to room. The two reasons the Governor cites — the nature of Lee's crimes and recent acceptance of responsibility — do not change those facts. We conclude the Governor’s reversal of the board’s decision is therefore not supported by some evidence.

October 18, 2006 at 12:21 PM | Permalink

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Comments

This is great news. Finally the court is ordering a prisoner be paroled when Governor Arnold is not doing his job.

Should we vote for Arnold or Angelides?
Still cannot decide who would be better at using their parole rights? Davis would not parole anyone, how cruel!
Law Student

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