More California inmates are getting a second chance as parole board enters new era of discretion

As reported by the Los Angeles Times:

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An Alameda County probation report details facts that Kao Saelee can’t change: He was 17 and armed with a sawed-off shotgun when he and three friends opened fire on a group of teens they believed belonged to a rival Oakland gang.

The spray of bullets instead struck Tsee Yorn and San Fou Saechao, both 13. It killed 7-year-old Sausio Saephan, a second-grader at nearby Garfield Elementary School who had tagged along with his older brother and was shot in the neck.

For years, members of the State Board of Parole Hearings could — and often would — deny prisoners early release based on their past, focusing solely on their criminal offense rather than whether or not they’d pose a safety risk in the future.

To inmates, it seemed an unspoken rule: Let no one out.

Now, the board has entered a new era, empowered to grant more offenders a chance at parole after a decade’s worth of court decisions and state laws that have broadened its discretion. With the greater legal flexibility, Gov. Jerry Brown has put the commission of 14 men and women at the front line of his effort to reduce the prison population and to focus more on rehabilitation rather than relying solely on punishment. …

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  1. Bogiewheel says

    How can any sane person swallow this “empowerment” to criminals. At one time it was Do the crime do the time. Now it’s Do the crime and shorten the time, because WE know you are a good person.

    “14 men and women at the front line” ! Who voted for these keepers of the peace. And what gives them the power to read minds. You would think they were all descended from Lamont Cranston.

  2. Rehabilitation? Not possible with 80% of them, which is the recidivism rate. Do what they do at Angola. Build a huge farm and make them grow their own food, raise their own meat and give them some dignity. Keeping them caged up like animals is not helping. Hard work will.

  3. Ol’ Kao sounds like a guy that could be easily rehabilitated. What say we move him in with ol’ Jer’ and see how that works out.

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