Wednesday, November 07, 2007

In Re Montgomery (Cal. Ct. App. - Nov. 7, 2007)

Once you've read enough of these -- and there's quite a few -- my sense is that one of two things must be going on:

(1) The various governors of California don't want to risk a potential political hit for granting parole to pretty much anyone convicted of any degree of murder, so they just overturn every recommendation of parole by the Board as a matter of course, even when they know that this decision will almost surely be reversed by the Court of Appeal. They don't care; that way, the courts take on the potential political hit, not the Governor's Office. So there's cover if the offender reoffends, someone responds negatively, etc.

(2) Alternately, these decisions might be explained were the people writing the parole decisions for the Governor's Office in these cases to be less than perfectly competent. Because it doesn't take a brain surgeon -- or even a very good lawyer, quite frankly -- to figure out that the denial of parole in cases like these is going to be reversed. Unless, that is, you draw one of the totally hard core panels, and they do all the work for you. Which, I guess, is perhaps the hope.

Regardless, you see a lot of these types of cases within the last several years. Especially as the Court of Appeal has caught on to the game.

And I'm sure you'll see more.