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Loving a Lifer For those whose loved one is serving a life sentence.

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  #1  
Old 06-18-2006, 10:00 AM
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Default Is Your Loved One EVER Coming Home?

My friend is serving 25 to life for murder w/special circumstances, 4 more yrs til up for parole (been down a long time already)......and although he has a lot of factors in his favor (confessed willingly, remorseful, model prisoner, good support network, good worker in prison, etc.) I wonder if any of this is enough to convince a parole board that he should be considered for release. I have heard - though just a rumor, and have not been able to find more info on it - that in Cali they almost never parole murderers. It makes me sad......and I feel for the victim's family, terribly, and yet, I hate to see this life thrown away.

For those whose loved ones are serving LWOP, I really, really feel for y'all. I wonder if there is any hope at all of his release, either in 4 years or 10 or whatever.......and my heart goes out to all of us suffering with either an 'indeterminate' date or LWOP.

Thanks for listening. Just had to get it off my chest.
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Old 06-19-2006, 02:13 AM
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Hey Katie!

Just want to say welcome, I'm in the California boat too. My lifer is indeterminate, barely starting out on 29 to life.

They do parole murderers in Cali, but very, very few. When Grey Davis was Gov., no, none. With Arnold, there have been a few. I've read on PTO about several who were paroled last year, so yes, it does happen!

I would figure he'll probably get set back the first time up, but the times are starting to change. There are new legal precedents as well (see lifer news threads...) the courts have ruled that if the board says yes, the governor can't deny parole without showing he's a danger to society... the gov can't just base his decision on the "nature of the original offense" anymore.

I'm hoping more people will test this and take their appeals to higher courts.
Also, the parole board is undergoing a major overhaul because lifer hearings are terribly back logged and a federal judge has ordered them to deal with it and fix the problem. I don't know how this will play out, but there are some changes coming...

Best of luck to you and your friend and thanks for the warm thoughts! Please stick around -- and jump in the Lifers Lounge thread if you like.
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Old 06-19-2006, 10:59 PM
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KatieO,
Welcome to the lifers forum. You have found a wealth of support here.

Me and my guy are in the same boat as you. He has already been down a long time. He has life with, but so far, that with parole possibility has proven to be extremely elusive. We go up for parole again in March for the 9th time. God willing, this time will be the charm.

He has been recommended by the board, but can't seem to get past the governor of our state. It is such an awful thing to get your hopes up just to have them dashed to the ground. I have said several times that it would have been kinder to him to give him LWOP, then the possibility of parole only to have it yanked away from him time after time.

All I can tell you, my little two cents worth, you just have to hang in there, do the best you can, and cling to the hope that someday he will come home. When walking this very difficult road you must hold on to the love that the two of you share. Nothing "they" can do can take that away from you.

So, take one day at a time, and when those days get rough, know that you can always come here for a shoulder to cry on, or even to share a laugh or two. We can sometimes get a little crazy in here. For evidence of that, I suggest you read the photo thread in here. It was nuts, but it was fun!!!!

Anywhoo, welcome. You will find the most loving supportive people in here that have ever graced an internet site. I couldn't do this without them and that is a heartfelt thank you to all in here.
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Old 06-20-2006, 12:27 AM
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my jamie is a lifer no chance in hell of getting out. but as long as we have each other and our health the system will not wear us down or break our spirit.
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Old 06-20-2006, 09:45 AM
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Katie,
I've done a lot of research within this area and can tell you that as of TODAY it's a pretty much slim chance for a 25-lifer to parole out and this is due to the biased amount of members serving on the parole board but that problem is slowly but surely getting fixed. That's why I stated TODAY. It's more than likely impossible but within the next 10 years who knows, things can change so try not to look at the statistics of today but find hope for tomorrow.
People with a chance for parole should be given an unbiased view in light of their continued effort of rehabilitation. This is why they have a chance at parole. I hope that our lovely Governor changed the CDC's slogan to REHABILITATION for a good reason and not just to gain more popularity votes.
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Old 06-20-2006, 09:52 AM
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Oh yeah one more very important thing.
You know that our Governor hand picks the comissioners on the parole board so it would seem to be very important to hand pick our next Governor very wisely.
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Old 06-20-2006, 11:44 AM
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Default Never Thought I'd Want a Republican Governor....

.........no offense to any GOP sisters out there!
I never thought I'd want a Republican governor, but I gotta say, on the parole issue, he seems to be a far better job that ole Davis did. As they say, politics makes strange bedfellows, it seems.
The irony of it that it seems any Democrat is going to have the 'soft on crime' handicap to overcome & have to overcompensate with BS like Davis' 'pine box' comment. Boy did that get me steamed.
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Old 06-20-2006, 12:45 PM
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Regarding Arny,
you're correct in stating he has been letting some dates stand but it could be better. He and other future governors need not to be swayed and threatened by political interest groups once in office and I believe that's why Arny has taken a step back recently in not paroling DESERVING lifers as he were in the beginning.
I never look at "political labels" any longer because it means nothing. I've seen a lot of democrats with strong conservative views, therefore labels are just what they are, labels.
Lets hope the no parole policy will vanquish future "pine box" comments.
With that being said, I agree with you, if Arny is all that we've than we might not have a choice in the matter. Even though he can do better, he has done more than his predecessor. Davis really disappointed me.
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Old 06-20-2006, 12:55 PM
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I agree w/you about labels.....that's why I finally registered Green instead of Dem a few years back. They're all dirty in one way or another, one just had to find one that's dirty in a way one can deal with. I remember when Willie Brown was running for Mayor of SF and my dad was all, 'He's corrupt but he's *our* kind of corrupt.' Interesting sense of humor on that guy.
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Old 06-20-2006, 01:00 PM
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It is so disgusting how politics rule the day when it comes to our men getting out. I've said it on here before, if they would look at the statistics on the recidivism rate for long term offenders as opposed to those who are in the "turn-style" mode, you know, those who roll in and out of the system every few years, they would see that there is a huge difference in them.
There is no sure-fire guarantee that any offender won't re-offend, however, once someone has served a long sentence, their re-offense rate drops to about 3% as compared to others who have served much shorter sentences. In following this line of thought, it only makes sense that it is much safer to parole a lifer than other offenders. The chances of a lifer wanting to do anything to land themselves back in prison are almost zilch. After all, it only stands to reason that those that would be eligible for parole would be those who have served their minimum amount of time which for most of them is going to be at least 20 years. After giving the state 20 years of their lives locked behind those gates, what person is going to want to give the state what could literally be the rest of their lives by re-offending.
We all know that no governor, especially one that wants to be re-elected wants to sign paroles for lifers with the pro-right wing groups that watch them like hawks and begin screaming to high heaven when they see a governor that has some compassion signing paroles.
Here in Oklahoma we now have a democrat governor who did sign a few during his first two years in office, now that its re-election time, that door has slammed shut. I know for a fact that when he denied my man last October, on that same day he denied four other lifers, all who have served well over 20 years. It is all so maddening.
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Old 06-22-2006, 04:03 PM
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I am also in the same boat as you all and I want to say that no matter what is said I have faith that my man will come home. He goes for the second time next year and I have been told that were he was convicted and not the main person but a co defended his chances are good I know it is going to take a few times but that is all we have is time. I just keep pushing forward and stay strong for us. I know God will move mountains for us and those will be moved one day. I have heard so much on all this and like I said there is always hope in this matter. They look at the facts and like I said he was there but that is all. I have read his transcipts and it says he was there and that is it. They wanted him to say who did it and he didnt so he got all this time but like I said god knows whats right and I believe in my heart that he will come home. Ladies we cant let the stress or the haters get us down keep your heads high and always keep you faith no matter what anyone says.......
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Old 06-27-2006, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
People with a chance for parole should be given an unbiased view in light of their continued effort of rehabilitation.
Hear, hear! My pen pal is serving 7 years to life and now, shortly before parole hearing numero 16 (!) I can say it's been automatically turned into life, if not LWOP, and to me it seems the board doesn't seem to take the hearings very seriously.

In my opinion the only reason for this is that the parole board apparently has a total disregard for a clean prison record (after 37 years that ought to earn someone a medal!), good parole plans with job offers (even though we're talking about someone who's over 55), psychiatrists who refues to test any more because they've already written positive recommendations for too many times (that must be frustrating!) and on top of all that a good amount of remorse and rehabilitation. Yes, the crime committed was heinous, but why act like 37 freaking years in prison, rehabilitation and remorse don't matter AT ALL?? Doesn't that make up for it already? And why give 7 years to life if this person should never walk the streets again?

I try to make sense of the system, but I just can't understand it...
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Old 06-27-2006, 11:28 AM
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Yap, you are singing my song. Kenny will mark his 29th year in this coming February, goes back up for parole AGAIN, in March. While I still have hope, it will be his 9th time up, he has all the same things as your guy, good record, positive letters from wardens, police detectives, a job waiting for him, etc, etc, etc......But none of it has done any good.
It does feel more like LWOP, the LWP. Why hang the carrot in front of them if its only a mirage?????
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Old 06-28-2006, 02:48 AM
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Yes that's what enrages me most: parole hearings give people hope. I don't know how my pen pal (who's a woman, just for the record ) copes with the setbacks time and time again. It's really taking the hit and getting back up again. And again. And again. It breaks my heart.
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Old 06-28-2006, 03:12 AM
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I'm feeling you all. He has life behind his sentence and he went to his 1st board this past May and was hit with another two years, we really thought he had a chance of coming home but that didn't happen. I wish you and your friend the best of luck. For some reason I think there minds are already made up before they even see the board, but that's just my opionion.
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Old 06-28-2006, 06:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatieO
For those whose loved ones are serving LWOP, I really, really feel for y'all. I wonder if there is any hope at all of his release, either in 4 years or 10 or whatever.......and my heart goes out to all of us suffering with either an 'indeterminate' date or LWOP.
Yes, Paula is serving LWOP and technically (at least in legal terms) she is dead and buried. So, it has fallen to me and to those I know who are working with me to do something about it. Whether what we are doing will be successful or not remains to be seen, but I am fuelled not by hope but by the most gritty, steely determination.

I take my cue from Hannibal, who was caught up facing impossible odds at one point during the 2nd Punic War. To those who doubted him - he simply said, "We will either find a way... Or make one!"

Regards,

Steve.
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Old 06-28-2006, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Limeylad

I take my cue from Hannibal, who was caught up facing impossible odds at one point during the 2nd Punic War. To those who doubted him - he simply said, "We will either find a way... Or make one!"

Regards,

Steve.
Steve,

I admire that outlook very much. As an aside, I am in the process of trying to buy a car - what a stressful task - and I was emailing back and forth all day with a friend who is better at this than I am. At one point I told him about your 'softly softly catchee monkey' saying.......!
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Old 07-02-2006, 04:36 PM
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John is serving Life without parole since he was 15. I dont know that he will ever come home, and that scares and saddens me because he is only 21 now, and the rest of his life is still a very long time from now.
All we can do is keep the faith and stick together through whatever happens
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