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In January 2015, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) began a new parole determination process, evaluating “non-violent second-strikers” for early parole. If early release is granted, they are released after serving only 50% of their sentences. Under existing law, they would otherwise have to serve 80% of their sentences before being eligible for parole.
Upon receipt of inmate names from CDCR with a recommendation for release, the Board of Parole Hearings [BPH] conducts an administrative review to determine if the inmate should be released early from prison as a ‘non-violent second-striker.’ BPH forwards the names of these eligible inmates to District Attorneys’ offices and invites input in making their determination about the inmate’s potential early release. Unlike parole hearings, where the prosecution, defense attorney and victim may appear, there is no public hearing for these administrative reviews. Rather, the decision is made purely by CDCR administrative staff. Additionally, prior to consideration for early release, no evidence-based “risk assessment” is conducted to determine if the inmate poses a danger to the public.
The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office takes an active role in evaluating these cases and writes letters to the Board with an overview of the inmate’s criminal history and current commitment offense, an opinion regarding the public safety risk posed by the inmate, and the appropriateness of an offender’s early release. The Board determines whether an offender would pose an unreasonable risk to public safety based on their prior criminal history, facts behind their current commitment offense, behavior in prison, rehabilitation efforts, whether the inmate has any medical condition which might affect his ability to re-offend, and written statements.
In November 2015, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office began posting on its website information about “non-violent second-strike” offenders who have been granted early release from prison.
As of February 28, 2017, 205 inmates sentenced from Sacramento County have been granted early prison releases. Given the number of violent offenders who continue to be granted early release, DA Anne Marie Schubert began monthly updates to provide the public with a sampling of the noteworthy criminals who appear to pose a risk to public safety, but are being granted early release into our community as ‘non-violent second-strikers.’
In the month of February, inmates granted early prison release include:
Jimmie Garrett (Case #12F05534) – In 1987, Garrett was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to state prison. While on parole in 1993 for this conviction, he threatened a female victim stating he would kill her by putting “a bullet in her head.” Given Garrett’s violent history, the victim was afraid for her life and called law enforcement. The victim turned over a loaded .357 magnum to officers, which she said Garrett brought into the home. Garrett was convicted of the strike offense of felony terrorist threats and sentenced to state prison. Between these prison commitments, Garrett was convicted of felony possession of rock cocaine for sale after he was found in possession of 30 rocks of cocaine, more than $2,000 in cash and several pay/owe sheets. While on parole for the terrorist threat conviction, he threatened to shoot another female victim. After trying to evade arrest in a chase with officers, Garrett was again found to be in possession of a firearm. He was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm, his fourth felony conviction. Another female victim sought a restraining order against Garrett in 2011. She told authorities he possessed numerous firearms and had threatened her by putting a gun to her head. Garrett admitted to displaying a firearm and said he had guns in their home, “because of what I do, we need protection.” The victim explained that Garrett was referring to his marijuana growing and selling business. Officers obtained a search warrant and found Garrett was in possession of two rifles, a shotgun, a .357 revolver, ammunition for the various weapons and marijuana. He was convicted of felon in possession of a firearm, felon in possession of ammunition and possession of marijuana for sale. Garrett is a convicted killer who has seven felony convictions, continues to possess loaded firearms while involved in drug dealing and has a long history of terrorizing women. Opposition Letter
John Grayson (Case #15F04600) – In 1990, Grayson was convicted of voluntary manslaughter for shooting and killing a man. In 1997, he was convicted of battery on a spouse. In that case, witnesses reported hearing a woman screaming and crying in an apartment parking garage. Grayson had kicked the female victim repeatedly while she was on the ground of the garage. In 2000, Grayson ran from officers after he was caught engaging in a drug sale. When he was finally detained by officers, he punched one of the officers in the neck, kneed another officer in the leg and grabbed for an officer’s gun multiple times. He was convicted of resisting an officer. In addition to his propensity for violence, Grayson also has a history of sophisticated and planned financial crimes against multiple victims. In 2005 and 2006, Grayson used counterfeit driver’s licenses with his picture to open a number of fraudulent credit cards and bank accounts under different victims’ identities. He made close to $6,500 in fraudulent purchases and attempted another $1,500 worth of purchases before being denied. He was convicted of six felony counts of ID theft. In his current commitment offense, Grayson entered a bank and tried to open a bank account with a false driver’s license with his picture on it. When bank staff confronted him about the fraudulent information, he ran out of the bank. A police officer was in the parking lot and tackled Grayson. A brief struggle ensued, causing injury to the officer’s leg. When Grayson was arrested, several other pieces of fraudulent identification were found. He was again convicted of felony ID theft with a prior identity theft and sentenced to state prison. Grayson is a convicted killer with violence and financial crimes going back more than 25 years. Opposition Letter
Taurus Hendricks (Case #11F07923) – Hendricks has a prior 2012 strike conviction for first-degree residential burglary. In that case, Hendricks broke into a bedroom through a window. The 16-year-old female victim awoke to find him standing at the foot of her bed, staring at her. The victim woke her older sister, who was also sleeping in the bedroom with her son. When her sister saw Hendricks, she screamed. He then fled out of the bedroom window. On the same day Hendricks pled to this strike conviction, he pled to a domestic violence charge. Hendricks was dating the victim in that case. When the two got into an argument, he threw the victim against a fence and bit her hand, causing her to bleed. He then repeatedly punched her in the face while she was on the ground. When the victim called out for help, he bit her on her neck, causing her to bleed. He only stopped the attack when a bystander intervened. Over the next few years, Hendricks continued to reoffend and violate the terms of his probation, including a conviction for resisting arrest and another domestic violence offense. In 2014, Hendricks was charged with three separate felony domestic violence cases. In one case, he entered his ex-girlfriend’s home, pulled her out of bed, forced her into his car and repeatedly punched her in the head. He then took her back home and continued to physically attack her and stated “I am gonna’ kill you and your baby!” A few months later, he approached the same victim from behind and hit her in the head several times. Later that month, he punched the same victim in the jaw several times and strangled her until she was unconsciousness. As a result of these new acts of violence, Hendricks was sentenced to 4 years in state prison. From the time Hendricks was convicted of residential burglary to the time he was finally committed to state prison on that offense, he has been charged with three felonies, two misdemeanors and violated probation six times. Opposition Letter
The Early Prison Releases webpage can be found at www.sacda.org/early prison releases.
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