In January 2015, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) began a new parole determination process, evaluating “non-violent second-strikers” for early parole. If early release is granted, they are released after serving only 50% of their sentences. Under existing law, they would otherwise have to serve 80% of their sentences before being eligible for parole.
Upon receipt of inmate names from CDCR with a recommendation for release, the Board of Parole Hearings [BPH] conducts an administrative review to determine if the inmate should be released early from prison as a ‘non-violent second-striker.’ BPH forwards the names of these eligible inmates to District Attorneys’ offices and invites input in making their determination about the inmate’s potential early release. Unlike parole hearings, where the prosecution, defense attorney and victim may appear, there is no public hearing for these administrative reviews. Rather, the decision is made purely by CDCR administrative staff. Additionally, prior to consideration for early release, no evidence-based “risk assessment” is conducted to determine if the inmate poses a danger to the public.
The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office takes an active role in evaluating these cases and writes letters to the Board with an overview of the inmate’s criminal history and current commitment offense, an opinion regarding the public safety risk posed by the inmate, and the appropriateness of an offender’s early release. The Board determines whether an offender would pose an unreasonable risk to public safety based on their prior criminal history, facts behind their current commitment offense, behavior in prison, rehabilitation efforts, whether the inmate has any medical condition which might affect his ability to re-offend, and written statements.
In November 2015, the Sacramento County DA’s Office began posting on its website information about “non-violent second-strike” offenders who have been granted early release from prison.
As of May 31, 2017, 235 inmates sentenced from Sacramento County have been granted early prison releases. Given the number of violent offenders who continue to be granted early release, DA Anne Marie Schubert began monthly updates to provide the public with a sampling of the noteworthy criminals who appear to pose a risk to public safety, but are being granted early release into our community as ‘non-violent second-strikers.’
In the month of May, inmates granted early prison release include:
Brian Stockton (Case #14F06559) – Stockton has a 1999 strike conviction for assault with a firearm. In that case, Stockton and the victim were friends. They lived across the street from each other and socialized together. When the victim went to retrieve the wallet he left at Stockton’s house, Stockton shot him in the stomach. There was no provocation for Stockton’s violent act against his friend, who only survived because of the life-saving efforts of medical personnel. Stockton was sentenced to 8 years in state prison for this shooting. Prior to that offense, Stockton’s past convictions included felony possession for sale of a controlled substance in 1994 and felony reckless evading of officers with willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others in 1997. Most recently, in 2014, Stockton was caught with $250,000 worth of stolen audio and video equipment. This equipment was stolen from a church in Folsom. He was also in possession of a handgun, two rifles and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. He was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm and received his current 4 year prison sentence. Stockton’s criminal history goes back to 1993, including a violent shooting, possession of firearms, possession of drugs for sale and evading officers. Opposition Letter
Okouava Saelee (Case #13F07014) – In 1992, Saelee was convicted of possessing a firearm in public. In 1993, he was once again found in possession of a firearm and convicted of unlawful firearm activity. In 1994, Saelee was convicted of five counts of assault with a semi-automatic firearm. In that case, Saelee drove up to an apartment complex in south Sacramento and fired a semi-automatic firearm into a group of men and women. He fired at least five bullets into the crowd. Saelee was a validated member of a criminal street gang that is notorious for perpetrating violence on the streets of Sacramento. He received a sentence of 30 years in state prison for this shooting. In his current 2013 commitment offense, Saelee pled to the possession of marijuana for sale. As of 2013, he was still listed as a validated gang member. Saelee has been consistently involved with gangs over his two decade criminal history, which includes a shooting and the continued illegal possession of firearms. Opposition Letter
Raul Medina (Case #15F03617) – In 2001, Medina was convicted of second-degree burglary. While on felony probation for that offense, Medina terrorized a neighborhood from behind the wheel of a car. Medina was angered when a man who let him stay at his home realized Medina was driving a stolen car and tried to detain him. Medina ‘peeled out’ from their residence in the stolen car, drove recklessly on residential streets and nearly hit several people. Neighbors yelled at Medina to stop driving crazy and threatened to call police. Medina didn’t listen and was clearly on a mission. He ran a stop sign and veered at pedestrians while driving on the sidewalk. A mother and son had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit. Medina turned around, drove up on the sidewalk again and tried again to run people over. He did this repeatedly, making U-turns and attempting to run people over on the sidewalk. He eventually took off at a high rate of speed and crashed into a fence. Medina was convicted of vehicle theft and assault with a deadly weapon, a strike, and received a sentence of 4 years in state prison for these series of offenses. Medina violated parole in 2004 and was convicted of driving under the influence. He violated parole again in 2006, and was convicted of felony receiving stolen property in 2007. He continued to violate parole in 2008 and was convicted again of vehicle theft and second-degree burglary in 2009, for which he received another prison sentence. Medina repeatedly violated the terms of his Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) in 2013, 2014 and 2015. He is currently serving a prison sentence for a 2015 vehicle theft conviction, with an enhancement for having suffered a prior vehicle theft conviction and a prior strike. Medina has seven felony convictions and has never successfully completed a grant of probation, parole or PRCS. Opposition Letter
Rufus Joseph Valadez (Case #16FE005307) – In 1989, Valadez was convicted of felony domestic violence. In that case, he grabbed the victim by her hair, choked her with both of his hands, punched her several times in the face and threw hot grease on her from a pan in the kitchen. He then threw a large bottle of water at the victim, which caused a large welt on her arm. The bottle deflected off of the victim’s arm and struck her toddler in the neck. Valadez was sentenced to 5 years in state prison for this brutal attack. In 2004, Valadez was convicted of arson, a strike offense, for burning a pickup truck. He was sentenced to 7 years in state prison and was required to register as a convicted arsonist. Valadez’s violence also extended into prison. While in custody in 2013, he assaulted an inmate and was convicted of battery. With a continuous criminal history spanning 30 years, Valadez has spent his entire adult life in and out of county jail and state prison. His criminal record includes nine felony convictions and six misdemeanor convictions as well as numerous parole, probation and Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) violations. Valadez’s other past convictions include a second domestic violence conviction and several illegal possession of a controlled substance, illegal possession of a controlled substance for sale and illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon convictions.
Julius Levi Dudley (Case #16FE004501) – In March 2006, Dudley was convicted of felony threatening a witness. In that case, Dudley told a witness that bullets might fly her way after she gave a statement to officers about a shooting and identified him in a photo-line up. Dudley was on probation at that time for two separate felony cases involving sales or possession of drugs. When he was released from custody in October 2006, a Criminal Protective Order was issued to protect the victim from Dudley. In March 2007, Dudley contacted the victim and was convicted of violating the restraining order. In 2008, he violated his probation and was given additional jail time. When he violated again in 2009, he was sentenced to state prison. In 2013, Dudley committed his strike offense of residential burglary when he entered a home through a window and stole property. While on probation for this strike conviction, Dudley was found to be in possession of 6 grams of heroin, $3,000 in cash, a scale, a semi-automatic rifle magazine and 19 rounds of semi-automatic rifle ammunition as well as a photograph of Dudley holding a semi-automatic rifle. He was convicted of illegal possession of ammunition by a convicted felon and possession of heroin. Dudley is a validated gang member with a criminal history of six felony convictions and two misdemeanor convictions. Opposition Letter
The Early Prison Releases webpage can be found at www.sacda.org/early prison releases.
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