James Jacobs 
Member since Jan 7, 2016


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Re: “Trapped Part One: Cruel and Indefinite Punishment

In September of 2014, I resigned from my job with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office after serving 9 years as a Deputy District Attorney working exclusively in the Lifer Parole Hearing Unit. From my first hearing in the mid-1980's to 2009, I had 3 or 4 lifers released on parole, and two were upon my recommendation. I retired from my full time job as a trial deputy in 1998 but was called back in 2005 to work part time in the new Lifer Hearing Unit.

Around 2009, the way the parole commissioners were appointed was changed by the Democrats in the State Senate. The Governor used to submit a potential commissioner's name to the Senate Rules Committee who would either confirm the appointment or reject it. Starting around 2009, when the Governor submitted a name, the Senate Rules Committee would postpone the confirmation hearing for about 6 months and allow the potential commissioner to serve for a period of time. Although I do not know what the break-off point is, those commissioners that fail to parole a suitable number of life inmates are not confirmed and those that give away the store are.

Since 2010, the State of California has paroled about one third of the inmates appearing for their hearings. These inmates are then released back into the community and we are told they will become law abiding citizens. However, since able bodied men, without any police record, are having a difficult time finding meaningful employment how are these inmates ever going to find and hold a meaningful job and support themselves.

The story of inmate Johnson does not appear to be complete. The story sounds more to me like an armed robbery gone awry. As far as his accomplishments in prison go, all that is printed in the story show him in a positive light and I am sure there must be some persuasive negatives or he would have already made parole under the State Senate's catch and release policy.

Whenever someone complains about the expense of incarcerating a prisoner, they never take into account the loss that society suffers due to to increased insurance costs, businesses failing to locate in high crime communities and the personal losses suffered by victims. What was the loss to those who loved the cabbie who was killed by Johnson's' group. If you run with murderers you suffer the same fate under California law whether your are the shooter or not.

The people get the government they deserve and allowing the Senate Rules Committee to stack the deck in favor of murders, kidnappers, and torturers, and then return them to prey on society, is the people's just deserts.

Posted by James Jacobs on 01/07/2016 at 7:13 PM

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