Showing posts with label Governor Jerry Brown. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Governor Jerry Brown. Show all posts

Monday, February 4, 2013

The latest news on Davis parole possibility

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California's governor has been asked to make the final decision on whether a former Charles Manson follower will be released on parole after serving more than 40 years in prison.
 
The state's Board of Parole Hearings submitted to Gov. Jerry Brown its recommendation that Bruce Davis is suitable for parole. The documents were submitted Friday, one day ahead of the deadline, according to California Department of Corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton.
 
The board's attorneys were required to review the findings of a two-member panel which ruled he was suitable for parole. They confirmed there were no errors of fact or law in the submission.

The governor has up to 30 days to make a decision. His options are to affirm, decline, modify or decline to review, which would allow the parole to take effect, Thornton said.
 
Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey sent a letter to the board last week opposing Davis' release.
 
Davis was 30 when he was sentenced to life in prison in 1972.  Davis long maintained that he was a bystander in the killings of the two men, but in recent years, he has acknowledged his shared responsibility.
 
If he is freed, Davis will go to transitional housing associated with religious groups in Los Angeles County.

Davis became a born-again Christian in prison and ministered to other inmates, married a woman he met through the prison ministry, and has a grown daughter. The couple recently divorced.  Davis also earned a master's degree and a doctorate in philosophy of religion.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Lynyrd Weighs-In on Bruce Davis...

I have very mixed emotions, about Davis’ parole.

I never thought I'd say this in a million years... but, I think the right thing to do, is release him.

I'm not a supporter of Bruce Davis by any means. I'm not dying to see him released.
Yes... I find him very creepy. And yes... I also believe, that Davis is likely guilty of more crimes (than he was convicted of)...

But the fact of the matter, is that keeping this guy incarcerated any longer, seems to contradict the intent of our justice system, and the intent of his sentence.

Before everyone jumps down my throat:
I'm fully aware, that Bruce Davis could be kept incarcerated until his death, without breaking any laws. I understand that.

I'm not speaking literally, from a legal standpoint.
I'm speaking from the gut... my sense of "fair play", as it were...

This guy has served over four decades in prison.
He has earned two advanced degrees... and to my knowledge, has a spotless record.
He's already earned two approvals, and he's old as the hills.

If we keep Davis in prison forever... it begs the question:
Why are we bothering with these parole hearings??
What is the point??
Is this some kind of 21st century "cruel and unusual" joke??

And moreover…
What kind of message would another governor veto, send to other inmates?
Why should young inmates even try??

I took a management job many years ago. My superior at that time, was a great mentor.
My first week, he advised me:
"Remember... every decision that you make sends a message, and sets a precedent".
I found his words, to be true.

I think releasing Davis, would send a powerful message to guys like Charles Manson, who remain defiant throughout their entire incarceration.  It would send a powerful message, to inmates (like Manson) who squander their time, and skip parole hearings.
Sometimes, a bit of jealousy goes a long way. 
Let the defiant inmates sit and stew, while Davis is out enjoying himself.
Jealousy can be both… a powerful motivator and a cruel punisher.

Releasing Davis, would also send a very positive message to young inmates with years ahead of them, that hard work and good behavior will be rewarded.

In short...
More positive outcomes can be accomplished by releasing Davis (at this point), than continuing to retain him.
If you deny Davis, you're telling defiant inmates like Manson, that they've won... and young upcoming inmates, that it's not worth trying.

As I've outlined...
I believe these decisions are bigger than one individual's fate (in this case Davis‘).
These decisions can be used to improve our prison system (to create hope and motivation among inmates), or the opposite (to create despair and apathy).
Think about it.

We have to ask ourselves:
Are we really working towards rehabilitation?
Or, is that just a handy catch-phrase we use, to soothe our own conscience?

Are we operating on 100% vengeance, at the dismissal of all other considerations?

I don't like Bruce Davis... and no, I wouldn't want him living next door, to me.
But the fact is... I believe, that Davis has served "the intent" of his sentence.

Did Davis deserve "life with the possibility of parole"?
Probably not.

Did Davis commit other crimes?
Probably yes.

While these questions are certainly interesting... they don’t matter.
We must deal with reality.
The reality, is that Davis was convicted of two murders, and was given the opportunity for parole.

(It goes without saying, that we cannot continue to incarcerate a man for suspected crimes).

It pains me to say this, but I believe releasing Davis, is the right thing to do.
He has served the intent of his sentence, as I personally interpret it.

I'm not sure, that I could sign the release papers myself (LOL), that would be pretty damn tough.  But from a non-biased, detached standpoint, I believe it should be done.

My two cents…