Brown allows a high number of paroles for life-term inmates in 2013

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown last year approved the release of 477 inmates serving indeterminate life sentences, the second-highest total in state history.

The number of grants of parole was surpassed only by 670 the year before.

The release of life-term inmates found suitable for parole has skyrocketed in recent years, in the wake of two state Supreme Court decisions in 2008 that held state officials must base their decisions on an inmate’s current condition, rather than simply reject parole requests based solely on the circumstances of his or her crime.

Details of the grants of parole issued by the Board of Parole Hearings were released late last week by the governor’s office, in a required annual report to the Legislature. The governor rejected 100 of 577 the board submitted for approval.

Brown’s rate of reversals, 17.3 percent, was consistent with that compiled over his first two years in office, a combined 18 percent. That rate is far lower than that of his predecessor, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who reversed 60 percent of parole grants.

But Brown administration officials note the net percentage of paroles has been largely unchanged, because courts later overturned about three of every four of Schwarzenegger’s reversals.

California is one of just four states in which the ultimate decisions on paroles for life-term inmates rests with the governor.

The effect of the Supreme Court decisions has been dramatic. Since 2008, there have been 3,039 grants of parole to life-term inmates. Over the previous 30 years combined, there had been 1,821.

Even with those climbing numbers of paroles, however, the process remains very selective. About 85 percent of parole hearings still end in denial. Most of those eligible for parole have been convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to prison terms of 20 years to life.

There are about 35,000 such inmates in California prisons, including about 450 from Ventura County.

The parole board scheduled hearings for 58 of those inmates from Ventura County last year and granted parole to nine.

Among the 100 parole grants reversed by Brown last year was one from Ventura County, that of Louis Gary. He strangled to death Najat Chehade, a prostitute and live-in friend.

Gary had been giving her a ride from Los Angeles to Ojai. During the drive, they argued about what route to take, and Chehade began to mock Gary about his sexual dysfunction. Gary pulled off the freeway, strangled her with a piece of rope and pushed her body down an embankment.

In his decision, Brown called Gary’s crime “vicious and senseless.” He noted that Gary was 41, highly educated and had a career as a computer systems designer. “It gives me great pause that a person of such intelligence and success would decide to murder his friend for such a trivial reason,” Brown wrote.

Brown cited a 2009 report from a prison psychologist that said Gary “appeared to minimize” his history of mental health problems.

“Mr. Gary’s failure to acknowledge these issues indicates to me that he is not prepared to recognize and cope with them promptly if they re-emerge,” he wrote.

© 2014 Ventura County Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 40

governmentleech writes:

Dear governor,I hope a lot of those people released move into your neighborhood. Maybe y'all could have a block party.

ms_reason writes:

And so it goes..... the criminals set free. A great big thank you to the liberals. Guess that's more votes for the Democrats.

ca93001 writes:

Correct me if I am wrong, wasn't this a Supreme Court mandate?

Humble_Beginnings writes:

Disgraceful!

Cy writes:

Brown has increased the parole rate for lifers 2,000%

Unbelievable!

DavidAtkins writes:

State Supreme Court mandate. Also, the prisons are overflowing (the issues are related.) The regular conservative trolls here have difficulty with reading comprehension.

Sadly for them, Governor Brown will be re-elected by a landslide, seeing as how most California voters are much smarter than the local conservative trolls.

cassandra9 writes:

in response to DavidAtkins:

State Supreme Court mandate. Also, the prisons are overflowing (the issues are related.) The regular conservative trolls here have difficulty with reading comprehension.

Sadly for them, Governor Brown will be re-elected by a landslide, seeing as how most California voters are much smarter than the local conservative trolls.

The regular conservative trolls are partisans. They simply do not care about the facts of the matter.

Mina writes:

If congress would pass comprehensive immigration reform we could stop incarcerating peaceful people who just want to work here, and we'd have more room in our prisons for the real criminals.

If citizens really feel we need to keep more people locked up for longer sentences, all they need to do is approve the funds to pay for it.

If you say you want something but you're not willing to pay for it, then you don't really want it very much.

But as usual the same complainers want something for nothing.

Mina writes:

in response to governmentleech:

Dear governor,I hope a lot of those people released move into your neighborhood. Maybe y'all could have a block party.

Actually, I've heard that by California law when a prisoner is released with no place to go, they drop them off at the capitol.

Mina writes:

in response to governmentleech:

Dear governor,I hope a lot of those people released move into your neighborhood. Maybe y'all could have a block party.

So does this mean you're for growing the government and raising taxes now?

Are you now willing to admit yet that the government provides services that individuals simply cannot provide for themselves?

Are you now willing to help pay for all the prison guards we'd need to keep all these people in prison longer, or do you think we can keep all these people in prison without hiring any more guards or paying them a compensation that makes the job worth the risks?

Traditional-2 writes:

in response to Mina:

If congress would pass comprehensive immigration reform we could stop incarcerating peaceful people who just want to work here, and we'd have more room in our prisons for the real criminals.

If citizens really feel we need to keep more people locked up for longer sentences, all they need to do is approve the funds to pay for it.

If you say you want something but you're not willing to pay for it, then you don't really want it very much.

But as usual the same complainers want something for nothing.

Mina: Did you stop to think before you wrote this post? Prisoners are lifers for crimes like murder, not illegal immigration. Did you read the article? I wonder how the victims' families feel when a murderer is released. Man you Dems are stupid.

Approve more money? Well, your Dems have controlled the Legislature for decades. Can your buddy D-A and you send them a note to do something constructive? Just redirect some of the money they put into a five-year welfare program.

Brown by a landslide? Unfortunately so. Lund, however, will prevail by an even greater percent.

ca93001 writes:

in response to Traditional-2:

Mina: Did you stop to think before you wrote this post? Prisoners are lifers for crimes like murder, not illegal immigration. Did you read the article? I wonder how the victims' families feel when a murderer is released. Man you Dems are stupid.

Approve more money? Well, your Dems have controlled the Legislature for decades. Can your buddy D-A and you send them a note to do something constructive? Just redirect some of the money they put into a five-year welfare program.

Brown by a landslide? Unfortunately so. Lund, however, will prevail by an even greater percent.

As I understand it, the law states that you cannot look at past convictions, that you can only look at why they are currently incarcerated. So you can have a past rape conviction but you may be in for simple burglary and that's what they have to go by.

Mina writes:

in response to Traditional-2:

Mina: Did you stop to think before you wrote this post? Prisoners are lifers for crimes like murder, not illegal immigration. Did you read the article? I wonder how the victims' families feel when a murderer is released. Man you Dems are stupid.

Approve more money? Well, your Dems have controlled the Legislature for decades. Can your buddy D-A and you send them a note to do something constructive? Just redirect some of the money they put into a five-year welfare program.

Brown by a landslide? Unfortunately so. Lund, however, will prevail by an even greater percent.

If we let more peaceful people out we can keep more violent prisoners in.

If you want more people in prison, you have to raise taxes or cut services elsewhere.

If you cut services to people who are struggling you're going to create more people who have given up and are wiling to hurt people around them, then you're going to have a much bigger need for prisons.

Is that really too hard for you to understand?

Mina writes:

in response to ca93001:

As I understand it, the law states that you cannot look at past convictions, that you can only look at why they are currently incarcerated. So you can have a past rape conviction but you may be in for simple burglary and that's what they have to go by.

Why do people like you work so hard to forget Arnold Schwarzenegger, the right wing wonder boy who was governor for two terms and who helped create the mess that Jerry Brown is cleaning up?

Oh, it must be because so many of our current problems are a result of his inability to pass a budget and his stealing funds from local governments and our schools to cover his own failings.

Mina writes:

in response to Mina:

Why do people like you work so hard to forget Arnold Schwarzenegger, the right wing wonder boy who was governor for two terms and who helped create the mess that Jerry Brown is cleaning up?

Oh, it must be because so many of our current problems are a result of his inability to pass a budget and his stealing funds from local governments and our schools to cover his own failings.

Oops. I meant to post that under Traditional-2's comment.

Hopper writes:

in response to Mina:

If we let more peaceful people out we can keep more violent prisoners in.

If you want more people in prison, you have to raise taxes or cut services elsewhere.

If you cut services to people who are struggling you're going to create more people who have given up and are wiling to hurt people around them, then you're going to have a much bigger need for prisons.

Is that really too hard for you to understand?

I agree completely mena, we should let the more peaceful murderers out, they definitely do not deserve prison. This would go a long way in relieving to overcrowding issues. Great idea, you should run for office!!!

waynes-world writes:

in response to Mina:

Why do people like you work so hard to forget Arnold Schwarzenegger, the right wing wonder boy who was governor for two terms and who helped create the mess that Jerry Brown is cleaning up?

Oh, it must be because so many of our current problems are a result of his inability to pass a budget and his stealing funds from local governments and our schools to cover his own failings.

Brownie already raised taxes last year. Can't use any of that money to keep murderers locked up?

Cy writes:

As I posted yesterday:

Seems that in California we are paying 2 to 2.5 times as much per inmate than other states for incarceration. How could that be?

Read the report here: http://www.vera.org/pubs/special/pric...

Click on the report and scroll down to page 10.

How is it our neighbors in Arizona and Nevada only pay $24,805 and $20,656 respectively while California pays $47,421 per inmate?

FormerNPer writes:

Oh look it's Ignorance on Parade. First, David, the Supreme Court said lower the population, they didn't say "let them out." They can easily be farmed out to other states, or as Cy pointed out, we can reduce how much we spend on them and build more prisons.

Mina, people who are Illegal are in prison because they have committed crimes. No one is simply in prison for being an illegal. They may be in an ICE detention center, but prison is for the big boys, not you local grandma who snuck over the border. So letting out all your peace loving illegals will do NOTHING in regards to making room for more murderers.

How many times do we need to raise taxes for the common sense issues? Perhaps you should use some of the ridiculous money you are spending on other odd things. Like the train from Bakersfield to Modesto. Woot, how absurd of a money sink is that? Safety and Education should be the states #1 priority. Go look at the bills being proposed and passed, are any of them in that genre?

You Democrats have a SUPER MAJORITY, fix this problem. There is nothing any Republican can do, or has done that you can't fix in an afternoon if you so wish. Funny how you are so quick to jump on the right for actually thinking this through, over your own party for ignoring it.

Choo Choo, here comes the Democratic Hack Train.... somehow I see Atkins as the Engine, and Mina as the Caboose.

Luvee writes:

in response to Mina:

If we let more peaceful people out we can keep more violent prisoners in.

If you want more people in prison, you have to raise taxes or cut services elsewhere.

If you cut services to people who are struggling you're going to create more people who have given up and are wiling to hurt people around them, then you're going to have a much bigger need for prisons.

Is that really too hard for you to understand?

I say we should revamp the out of control welfare program that so many abuse and use the money for more prisons, for the people who really need it.

My question is, after all the time and money spent to convict former Oxnard School employee Gustavo Canizalez 30 yrs.old to 64 years to life in prison for the molestation of two children how much time will he really serve? Are they just going too give him a slap on the wrist and say,we'll get you out in no time?

waynes-world writes:

in response to Cy:

As I posted yesterday:

Seems that in California we are paying 2 to 2.5 times as much per inmate than other states for incarceration. How could that be?

Read the report here: http://www.vera.org/pubs/special/pric...

Click on the report and scroll down to page 10.

How is it our neighbors in Arizona and Nevada only pay $24,805 and $20,656 respectively while California pays $47,421 per inmate?

Why? The California prison guards union for starters.
http://www.policymic.com/articles/415...

waynes-world writes:

in response to Cy:

As I posted yesterday:

Seems that in California we are paying 2 to 2.5 times as much per inmate than other states for incarceration. How could that be?

Read the report here: http://www.vera.org/pubs/special/pric...

Click on the report and scroll down to page 10.

How is it our neighbors in Arizona and Nevada only pay $24,805 and $20,656 respectively while California pays $47,421 per inmate?

Here is another article, no reform needed in California right?

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/-2...

Cy writes:

in response to waynes-world:

Here is another article, no reform needed in California right?

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/-2...

But Wayne, it's really expensive to live in Wasco!!!

RIGHTisRIGHT writes:

in response to cassandra9:

The regular conservative trolls are partisans. They simply do not care about the facts of the matter.

Most simply read your and Atkins comments to know those who do not care about the facts of the matter.

RIGHTisRIGHT writes:

in response to DavidAtkins:

State Supreme Court mandate. Also, the prisons are overflowing (the issues are related.) The regular conservative trolls here have difficulty with reading comprehension.

Sadly for them, Governor Brown will be re-elected by a landslide, seeing as how most California voters are much smarter than the local conservative trolls.

Liberal trolls should to read the header of the topic before posting lies."Brown allows a high number of paroles for life-term inmates in 2013"

Your reading comprehension is nothing to brag about.

waynes-world writes:

in response to RIGHTisRIGHT:

Liberal trolls should to read the header of the topic before posting lies."Brown allows a high number of paroles for life-term inmates in 2013"

Your reading comprehension is nothing to brag about.

He is his biggest admirer

ms_reason writes:

Liberals like when the criminals are released so they can go register to vote and vote Democrat.

David Atkins is one of the biggest trolls here.

Doxster writes:

Here is an article which could allow for a meaningful discussion. But what do we have? We have a disproportionate number of trolls making their one sentence attacks on each others posts.
That aside, it would be beneficial to see who is being released and the justification for said order. Although I firmly believe there should be significantly more executions, I also know the "system" has proven to be significantly inexact and incongruous in its applications.

livingthedream writes:

in response to Luvee:

I say we should revamp the out of control welfare program that so many abuse and use the money for more prisons, for the people who really need it.

My question is, after all the time and money spent to convict former Oxnard School employee Gustavo Canizalez 30 yrs.old to 64 years to life in prison for the molestation of two children how much time will he really serve? Are they just going too give him a slap on the wrist and say,we'll get you out in no time?

Well, you know that Mina supports releasing "peaceful" felons. And, the molestations were not shown to have been violent. So, yes, Mina supports slapping the guy on the butt, and sending him back into the community. That way, we have more room for felons sentenced to life in prison, which she will also recommend to be paroled.

Mina lives in some sort of parallel universe in which her ideas make perfect sense. David Atkins sold her the road map to that universe and must be so proud of her.

poncho writes:

in response to ms_reason:

Liberals like when the criminals are released so they can go register to vote and vote Democrat.

David Atkins is one of the biggest trolls here.

Oh sure, I'm certain all those ex-cons can hardly wait to run to the polls and vote democrat. First of all, felons cannot vote, and second of all, even if they could, they wouldn't. Or maybe they'd vote for Micky Mouse...
Who'd you say you voted for for Governor?

ms_reason writes:

in response to poncho:

Oh sure, I'm certain all those ex-cons can hardly wait to run to the polls and vote democrat. First of all, felons cannot vote, and second of all, even if they could, they wouldn't. Or maybe they'd vote for Micky Mouse...
Who'd you say you voted for for Governor?

Felons can't vote? So when they get out of prison or jail, they can't go to the DMV and get an ID or license? And when they do, they can't fill out the voter registration card? I will wait for your response on that.
And statistically, ex-offenders vote Democrat. Remember, they are mostly uneducated and don't know any better.....

Mina writes:

in response to waynes-world:

Brownie already raised taxes last year. Can't use any of that money to keep murderers locked up?

Here's the voter guide summary on Brown's tax proposal that the voters approved in 2012.

"Summary of Legislative Analyst’s Estimate of Net State and Local Government Fiscal Impact:
• Additional state tax revenues of about $6 billion annually from 2012–13 through 2016–17. Smaller amounts of additional revenue would be available in 2011–12, 2017–18, and 2018–19.
• These additional revenues would be available to fund programs in the state budget. Spending reductions of about $6 billion in 2012–13, mainly to education programs, would not take effect."

http://vig.cdn.sos.ca.gov/2012/genera...

It's not immediately apparent from the voter guide, but the reason the tax increase for schools was able to provide money for corrections, is because California has a constitutional minimum for school funding (called the prop 98 minimum), so by fully funding the schools with money raised for schools, Brown could now use money from the general fund on corrections.

"In November 2012, California voters approved Governor Brown’s Proposition 30, which created a constitutional amendment that protected ongoing funding to the counties for Realignment. The amendment prohibits the Legislature from reducing or removing funding to the counties."

http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/realignment/

Mina writes:

in response to Hopper:

I agree completely mena, we should let the more peaceful murderers out, they definitely do not deserve prison. This would go a long way in relieving to overcrowding issues. Great idea, you should run for office!!!

Peaceful murders? What's that?

I don't know what mena is either, but I do think running for office may be the answer and I've decided to do it.

http://mina4vcclerk.com/

Also, I just learned that a woman I admire, Ellen Brown is running for State Treasurer.

http://ellenbrown4treasurer.nationbui...

So I think you're right about running.

We believe the ballot is stronger than the bullet.

Mina writes:

in response to Cy:

As I posted yesterday:

Seems that in California we are paying 2 to 2.5 times as much per inmate than other states for incarceration. How could that be?

Read the report here: http://www.vera.org/pubs/special/pric...

Click on the report and scroll down to page 10.

How is it our neighbors in Arizona and Nevada only pay $24,805 and $20,656 respectively while California pays $47,421 per inmate?

Because Arnold Schwarzenegger's something-for-nothing philosophy didn't work, and Bush's No Child Left Behind should have been called No Child Moved Ahead, and they cursed California and this country with a generation of unprepared youth.

FormerNPer writes:

in response to Mina:

Because Arnold Schwarzenegger's something-for-nothing philosophy didn't work, and Bush's No Child Left Behind should have been called No Child Moved Ahead, and they cursed California and this country with a generation of unprepared youth.

Mina,

Read this carefully! You have a Super majority in Sacramento. Whatever horrible things you believe Schwarzenegger or Bush did to not prepare out children here in California YOU CAN REVERSE ANY TIME YOU WISH. Need more prisons, you can redirect funds and build them. Need people to pay 90% in taxes, vote it in tomorrow. There is NOTHING we on the Right can prevent you from doing.

What part of that logic do you not understand?

You Democrats OWN THAT. You Democrats are NOT MAKING THE CHANGES, that you are capable of making and BLAMING THE REPUBLICANS.

Pull your head out Mina, your behind is not a hat.

Mina writes:

in response to FormerNPer:

Mina,

Read this carefully! You have a Super majority in Sacramento. Whatever horrible things you believe Schwarzenegger or Bush did to not prepare out children here in California YOU CAN REVERSE ANY TIME YOU WISH. Need more prisons, you can redirect funds and build them. Need people to pay 90% in taxes, vote it in tomorrow. There is NOTHING we on the Right can prevent you from doing.

What part of that logic do you not understand?

You Democrats OWN THAT. You Democrats are NOT MAKING THE CHANGES, that you are capable of making and BLAMING THE REPUBLICANS.

Pull your head out Mina, your behind is not a hat.

Oh, I get that.

Yes, the radical right wing has isolated themselves by trying to target everyone else and now no one wants to listen to you any more. But you did that to yourselves, quit trying to play the victim over it.

And we're way ahead of you on reversing the damage those old fools did to our state. Proposition 30 was exactly what we needed to start the repairs, but there's a lot more work yet to be done.

So now it's up to the rest of us to clean up this mess and I think Jerry Brown, Julia Brownley, and Fran Pavely have made a fine start, and I'm pretty sure you'll see the pendulum continue to swing back towards the left for the next few years.

But don't let it bother you. You will survive just like we did.

The problem for the left, however is that we need more people to step up to the task. That's why I'm running for office. I want to help people get more involved.

FormerNPer writes:

in response to Mina:

Oh, I get that.

Yes, the radical right wing has isolated themselves by trying to target everyone else and now no one wants to listen to you any more. But you did that to yourselves, quit trying to play the victim over it.

And we're way ahead of you on reversing the damage those old fools did to our state. Proposition 30 was exactly what we needed to start the repairs, but there's a lot more work yet to be done.

So now it's up to the rest of us to clean up this mess and I think Jerry Brown, Julia Brownley, and Fran Pavely have made a fine start, and I'm pretty sure you'll see the pendulum continue to swing back towards the left for the next few years.

But don't let it bother you. You will survive just like we did.

The problem for the left, however is that we need more people to step up to the task. That's why I'm running for office. I want to help people get more involved.

If you get it Mina, why do you keep blaming the Right for what the Left is doing, or not doing in this case? Twice in this thread you blamed the Right for issues California is facing, so obviously you don't know.

Yes, you are WAY ahead in fixing things. We have now gone to the bottom when it comes to poverty.

" California has the highest rate of impoverished people in the nation"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11...

Out of 50 states we are ranked #47 for Unemployment. Forty-six states have more employed.

http://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm

Taxes you ask? That includes the wonderful Prop 30 you are so happy we passed.

"We're No. 1 -- only more so.

The budget deal the Legislature reached today will keep California's top personal income tax rate and sales tax rate the highest in the Union.

The agreement will raise personal income tax rates by 0.25 of a percentage point across the board, beginning with the current tax year. The highest rate, on taxable income of more than $1 million, will rise to 10.55% from 10.3%."

- See more at: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money...

You aren't doing all that great of a job cleaning it up. In fact things are growing worse day by day.

You should NEVER be running for a non-partisan office. You are as partisan as the come. I feel bad for anyone not Democratic having to deal with you. You are exactly what we DO NOT need as a County Clerk.

Cy writes:

in response to Mina:

Because Arnold Schwarzenegger's something-for-nothing philosophy didn't work, and Bush's No Child Left Behind should have been called No Child Moved Ahead, and they cursed California and this country with a generation of unprepared youth.

That is just idiotic clap-trap.

FormerNPer writes:

in response to Cy:

That is just idiotic clap-trap.

You got it Cy. In Mina's world, unprepared youth are the reason Governor Brown let so many murderer's out of jail. Of course don't confuse her with the reality that those let out probably committed their murders 25+ years ago, before Schwarzenegger and Bush were even in office.

You can't fix the partisan demagoguery that is put forth by Democrats. They think they can just make stuff up and the ignorant people that vote for them will believe it. Sadly, reading commentary around here, I think they may be right.

Mina writes:

in response to FormerNPer:

You got it Cy. In Mina's world, unprepared youth are the reason Governor Brown let so many murderer's out of jail. Of course don't confuse her with the reality that those let out probably committed their murders 25+ years ago, before Schwarzenegger and Bush were even in office.

You can't fix the partisan demagoguery that is put forth by Democrats. They think they can just make stuff up and the ignorant people that vote for them will believe it. Sadly, reading commentary around here, I think they may be right.

In Mina's world, real leaders take responsibility and find solutions.

In Mina's world, children are to be nurtured and taught right, not swept aside and then punished for not knowing right.

In Mina's world, voters don't let people like you make them crazy, they just quietly go to the polls and they set the record straight.

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