Sunday, November 4, 2012

Bruce Davis Decision - Is The Tide Turning?

                                                           
I read an interesting piece the other day which made me wonder again about Bruce. Does he possibly know more, and could he really get out and away without talking about it? A few years ago I never would have given a minutes credence to the idea of him walking free. But, lately I am hearing more and more opinions and ideas which are making me start to wonder just a bit. Even Conservatives are starting to suggest that it could be conceivable that MR. Bruce Davis is getting closer to going home. The following is an article I read by Debra Saunders who is a conservative columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. Syndicated by Creators Syndicate, her thrice weekly column is also carried by newspapers throughout the country and on townhall.com. I didn't include all the links in her piece but the relevant one about the Governors record is at the bottom....


Odds are Manson killer Bruce Davis goes free
                                                  
“A parole board panel has recommended the release of a former Charles Manson follower imprisoned for 40 years for a double murder Manson engineered, but it’s not the last hurdle Bruce Davis will face as he seeks his freedom,” the Associated Press reported.  

But this is how the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced what happened:  
             
Parole Granted for Former Manson Family Member Bruce Davis  
       
San Luis Obispo — “ The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) issued a grant of parole today for convicted killer and former Charles Manson associate Bruce Davis, 69, during a parole consideration hearing at California Men’s Colony. Today’s decision was the result of Davis’ 27th parole suitability hearing.  Davis was not convicted in the infamous 1969 Sharon Tate or LaBianca killings. His conviction was for the 1969 first-degree robbery/murders of musician Gary Hinman and stuntman Donald “Shorty” Shea. Steve Grogan also was convicted for those crimes. In 2010 the parole board also recommended parole for Davis in January 2010, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger reversed the ruling. Gov. Jerry Brown has 120 days to do likewise, or not.  

What will Brown do?
       
Spokesman Gil Duran declined comment when asked by the Associated Press. If Duran responds to my email, I shall post an update. Michael Rushford of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation told me he thinks Davis should die in prison, but “I think he’s going to get out. I think Jerry’s going to let him out.” As he wrote here, Rushford believes that Brown has returned to the sort of anti-law enforcement views that led him to appoint Rose Bird as California Chief Justice during his first stint as governor. Rushford cited a Sacramento Bee story that found Brown let stand roughly 82 percent of the board’s decisions to parole convicted killers last year. By comparison, Schwarzenegger let stand 27 percent of such cases, while Gray Davis affirmed two percent of parole grants for murderers.

I wonder how this decision will affect how Californians vote on Proposition 34, the ballot measure to end the state’s capital-punishment law.

Read Michael Rushford piece:







26 comments:

AustinAnn74 said...

I don't think Gov. Brown is going to give the green light for this release. It would be political suicide if he did.

Matt said...

I'll disagree. Brown is in his 70's and has no further ambitions.

Stacey L. said...

I agree with Matt.

Doc Sierra said...

I've lived in California most of my life and I believe that Moonbeam is one of the most unpredictable politicians ever. There's no telling what this guy will do.

toocrowdedinthishouse said...

I agree with Matt---Brown does whatever he wants; he is older, and doesn't allow public pressure to sway him. I am impatiently awaiting his decision.

Ole J.C. said...

I think he will. He's granted parole for what- 80% of people who came up convicted of murder. He also overturned an astounding amount of life without parole sentences to 25 years with parole. There is the tax dollars problem as well; releasing him frees them up. If they don't, Bruce will appeal and then his next hearing he will go through the same process again and again. I think Brown will grant his parole since Bruce is the lesser evil of the Family politically. The whole "he wasn't involved in the infamous Tate and Labianca slayings" tag that gets thrown on his articles makes him safer. For what he was convicted for, I think he has served his time. However, I do feel he is responsible for much more. But I cant judge him on my assumptions.

Farflung said...

Brown has a mixed legacy to say the least. His father was vehemently opposed to the death penalty, but allowed an execution to continue which was a cause célèbre (Caryl Chessman).

At the same time, we (the people) duplicitously chant “we are a nation of laws, NOT men”, all the while preserving Presidential Pardons, Governor’s Pardons and establishing parole boards typically selected by governors. Or somehow accepting the rulings of Rose Bird as an objective, will of the people, who reverses ‘Death Sentences’ which were handed down by a heavily filtered, microcosm of the state’s society.

Prop 34 is the equivalent of tweaking the ear of death penalty proponents. Since the death penalty has been re-established, 13 executions have taken place. During the same time span, 5 prison guards have been murdered by inmates. Effectively, there is NO death penalty and it is little more than a lever to get offenders to save some money in trials, by pleading guilty to lesser offences. Why there is a movement to remind the ‘other camp’ that even though there have been few executions, the penalty must be removed is vexing to me, and I’m all for the penalty.

Brown may be out of the political spectrum personally, but he is still a Democrat and probably wants to live a few more years after leaving office. He still has the ability become the ‘Rose Bird’ of governors and make life very difficult on the Democratic party in the future.

I’ll remain duplicitous in my analysis of California politics by reflecting on the collection of politicians produced: Richard Nixon, Gary Condit, Ronald Reagan, Randy Cunningham and Ahh-nold. How can anyone honestly claim surprise, at either outcome?

Schalke 07 said...

I kinda feel like he will get out this time too. I'm glad I'm om the other side of the pond guys.
Personally I'd rather see Bobby or Leslie walk.

Trilby said...

My opinion is the same as Matt's and Too Crowded's. Gov. Brown (I like the guy alot) could care less about any negative blowback, I think, & is winding down a long career in public service. I think his route is the option of just allowing the time limit for review to run down, without comment. (I believe that was an option on a previous post, & it struck me then as the one he'd most likely follow.). Legally, it's been unfair and unethical to hold ONE-COUNT HTLBS prisoners to a different standard than others with their sentence, life WITH the possibility of parole. Bobby should have been out years ago. Bruce, I believe, is a different egg - hardcore, unremorseful, & guilty of alot more than he's ever been convicted for. Not to mention a liar and a hypocrite. But that's my opinion, not the law. Let's blame the police for not finding more counts (& bodies) of Brucie's. And let's keep stirring up the cold cases. And while I'm on my soapbox, Debbie Tate is a disgrace to everything Doris and Patti Tate did in their quest for justice and victim's rights. She has NO RIGHT to show up at these hearings with years-old letters from other families. She discredits the entire subject of victim's family impact statements, & it might be time to publicize that. (As does that large Smaldino woman at LVH's hearings, but that's a rant for another day...).

Trilby said...

...And, sorry, I forgot to add the connecting bridge sentence: I know Bruce is two-counts, as is Van Houten. That's more subjective, to me, than one-count review, but still, by the law, the sentence is life WITH the possibility of parole. The HTLBS group has been held to a different standard than others with the same counts/sentence. But how ANYONE can argue that Stabby psychopath Tex, Krenwinkel, etc. can be considered eligible is beyond me. The number of counts should be enough of a mitigating factor in and of itself. And sorry for the typos. Damn smartphone. :(

Doc Sierra said...

Trilby, I agree with some of what you said about Debra Tate. I thought that only victims' families could testify at parole hearings. I guess I'm wrong on that.

ST. Circumstance said...

Trilby- excellent post!!

Very well said ...

two exceptions- I dont hate Debra Tate as much as everyone else does- I have a touch of sympathy and understanding. she lost her hero at a young age- of all the things that could have turned her into, an attention whore is not the most troubling to me...

also- The TLb convicts ( except Clem) would be dead today if not for a change in the law about the death penalty. They became eligible for parole consideration after the change- but that didn't mean an automatic guarantee of anything....

"With possibility of parole" does not mean that your ticket is definatley going to be punched if you decide to play by the rules for X amount of time...

it defeats the purpose. LULU knew what she was doing was wrong,and she was nervous about doing it. Still- she made the choice to go through with it. After she went to jail- I personally watched her do an interview from the clink where she is laughing and smiling and telling the interviewer exactly when she will be getting out as per the Matrix in the California penal system...

It is sad to see her at these parole hearings crying and I get no satisfaction out of watching it. But I can't help remembering her skipping through court and smiling while victims families were torn apart. She cant be allowed to do those things and then brag about when she gets to go home...

They have to understand they are risking forever if they take another persons life into there own hands....

They have to know that. If the price is not that great- committing the crime is less of a decision...

It may not be fair- but it wasn't fair to Rosemary and Leno either. The ones who make the most noise serve as the ones to make the greatest example...

If LULU or any of the others weren't ready to handle that- they had the choice to walk away. A choice they didn't give to there victims....

Every word you said about Bruce is dead on in my opinion.

People need to remember when comparing these criminals to other criminals who committed similar offenses- there are NO similar cases. Why do so many of us still obsess over it after 40 years??

These people committed not only heinous crimes- but unlike other multiple murderers- they acted like complete clown afterwards. No remorse- no attempts to give any rational excuses. They made a big joke out of it. They laughed and giggled and mocked. Families of victims had to sit there and watch them act like jackasses throughout the entire trial, and process.

letting them go would make a mockery out of the whole system...

A group of people break into a home and stab /torture people to death, write messages in there blood- apologize to nobody, joke/laugh there way through the trial, and then smile into cameras and tell people when they are getting released....

Not if it were up to me

Its not revenge- its simple justice for those wronged and sending a message of what we as a society will and will not tolerate.

Mercy is fine, and if they let LULU or Bobby go at this point- I wouldn't make a stink. Same if the let Sadie die at home. It wouldn't have hurt anyone. But what a statement it made that they wouldn't... loud and clear the message came through. I think people finally started to get it after that. 40 years in jail- but that's what it took for them to finally understand this may be final...

why cloud that again now?







Jersydevil said...

I find his continued alliance to Tex all these years reason enough to keep his ass right where he's a t Bobby would seem a much better choice for parole

Stacey L. said...

ST. said,
it would have made a mockery of the whole system. Aren't we already there? Just here in LA last week a guy was sentenced to 15 years for running over and killing a 6 year old girl during a high speed chase. His passenger also was cited for throwing guns out of the car. He got 18 years! Our justice system is seriously f'd up.

But I do get your point.

Matt said...

Word-up Stacey!

Ole J.C. said...

Bruce was not sentenced to death. He was sentenced to life.

ST. Circumstance said...

Ya know what ole JC-

your right and I stand corrected.

California Supreme Court had already temporarily abolished the Death penalty by the time he was sentenced....

So it was not an option...

but if it were do you think he would have gotten a different sentence from the others??

From the judges ruling at sentencing :

"These were vicious murders indicating a depraved state of mind on the part of the defendant…I don't want to give the impression that he was at all a dupe or the foil of Charles Manson. Davis is older than most of the youngsters who were led by Manson. He is more intelligent and educated and capable of independent reasoning. For reasons known only to him he did not exercise this capability."

Which is an excellent point- he didn't really have the excuse that the younger girls had...

But my point stands either way- Life means life regardless if you get the sentence or it was another sentence commuted... It doesn't come attached with automatic ' Get out of jail free" cards which correspond with any type of time table...

After what they did -it is just not right for them to be able to say that they have a right to be freed after X amount of time, or because they have been good little boys and girls. They are locked up- what choice do they have??

But I did get that fact wrong :)

Ole J.C. said...

He absolutely would have received death. However, he stands as the only Family killer who did not (Grogan received it, but it was overturned by Kolts) receive death. I think on paper that means a lot. I am not debating if he deserved it or not- his participation in the Shea killing makes him as guilty as Grogan in the killing. I see someone who was sentenced to life, rather than death, more probable to parole. That with the fact he was already suggested for parole before, and will again if he is denied until he dies (unless he commits a violent offense in prison). For three years the prison has basically been trying to force him out.

ST. Circumstance said...

Maybe-

maybe the different sentence does make a difference...

I still believe that in certain cases you have to make one or two of these life sentences stand for the greater good of making sure criminals dont start to take parole for granted. As well that if this isn't one of those cases, I don't know what would be....

But I cant debate to loudly anymore lol my whole point was tainted by my ooops

Sweetstink said...

Leslie Van Houten was not sentenced to Death in her retrial ... she was sentenced to Life

ST. Circumstance said...

Does that count too??

lets all pile on lol :)

but another fair point

Lauren Webster said...

Back from the horrors of Hurricane Sandy!
I agree with St. Circumstance on Debra Tate, it must be hard having to lose TWO sisters BUT I always believed she was jealous of living in the shadow of Patti and not getting any recognition. I do kind of give her respect for respecting Barbara Hoyt. I wonder how she feels about Linda.

Matt said...

Did Sandy throw you for a loop, Lauren?

Lauren Webster said...

Indeed Matt, us New Yorkers were not expecting it at all! The only problem now is the crazy gas crisis here. I was so mad I couldn't do my daily check on here when the power was out :(

Matt said...

I'm an expatriated New Yorker myself. Was up there over the weekend.

I guess people will continue to say that there's nothing to this global warming thing, right?

Doc Sierra said...

My prayers all with all of you.