Thursday, April 02, 2009

In Re Masoner (Cal. Ct. App. - April 2, 2009)

The plethora of parole-denial appeals that flood the system nowadays typically involve murder convictions in which the parole board (or Governator) denies parole to a seemingly rehabilitated murderer who's spent a lot of time in prison. This case is no exception.

The difference is that this case involves a second degree murder conviction of someone who didn't murder someone deliberately, but instead killed them in a drunk driving accident. That's not your usual parole case. So it's interesting to see how it plays out.

Masoner has been in prison since 1984 -- i.e., 25 years -- after being sentenced to 15 years to life for having too many drinks with business associates and having a .23 when he got behind the wheel and crashed into a house, killing four-year old Jessica Shaner. Read the other details and see if you'd let him out at this point. On the one hand, a totally innocent four-year old child and her family. On the other hand, 25 years. What would you do and hold?