Wednesday, May 20, 2015

In Re Sena (Cal. Ct. App. - May 19, 2015)

Richard Sena is serving a sentence of 16 to life for second degree murder.  He was convicted in 1992, and has been in prison ever since.

In November 2011, the Board of Parole Hearings granted him parole.  But on April 26, 2012, the Governor reversed that decision.

Mr. Sena filed a writ, arguing that the Governor's decision was not supported by substantial evidence.  The trial court agreed, and granted the writ on September 18, 2012.  Its opinion ordered Mr. Sena to be released on parole "within 5 days".

Free at last!  Free at last!

The Governor has an opportunity, of course, to appeal the trial court's decision.  But on October 3, 2012, the Governor informed the Board that he would not appeal.

So after two full decades in prison, Mr. Sena will finally get out.

Maybe it was the excitement.  Maybe it was finally time to celebrate.  Whatever the reason, on the same day that the Governor said that he would not appeal, Mr. Sena made a decision of his own:

He exposed his penis to a female guard and masturbated in front of her.


The trial court held that this didn't matter.  Mr. Sena was supposed to be released in September.  He shouldn't have even been in prison.  So his subsequent decision to expose himself there doesn't change his entitlement to parole.

The Court of Appeal reverses.  Holding that it doesn't matter.  The Board gets to take subsequent acts into account.  So Mr. Sena gets denied parole notwithstanding the trial court's unappealed order.

The lesson, of course, is to keep it in your pants.  At least until you're released from prison.

At which point you can "celebrate" to your heart's content.  In the privacy of your own home.