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 District Attorney’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, 2016, 135 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 2016, inmates granted early prison release include:
Curtis Marcellino – Marcellino has a prior 1982 strike conviction for residential burglary. In that case, a woman awoke in her home to find Marcellino climbing on top of her and naked from the waist down. Marcellino received a 1 year county jail sentence for that offense. In 1995, a woman reported Marcellino grabbed her, kissed and fondled her as she tried to push him away and told him to stop. Marcellino pled to misdemeanor battery in this case and was sentenced to 90 days Sheriff Work Project. In 2004, Marcellino was arrested for annoying /molesting a child under age 18 and battery. He received 3 years probation for battery in this case. In 2006, Marcellino went to his victim’s house in violation of a restraining order. When she asked him to leave, he became angry and drove his vehicle towards her and her 18-year-old female friend, forcing them to jump out of the way to avoid being struck. For this offense, he was convicted of felony assault with a deadly weapon and sentenced to 270 days in county jail. In his current offense, Marcellino was 50 years old when he picked up a 15-year-old girl he met earlier the same day on Craigslist. The victim’s mother saw Marcellino drive away with her daughter and took down his license plate number before calling law enforcement. Officers went to the address associated with the vehicle and found Marcellino and the victim both naked from the waist down. The victim said she told Marcellino she was 18 years old, but admitted she was only 15. According to the victim, the two were having sex. When she repeatedly told Marcellino he was hurting her, he didn’t stop until the victim pushed him off of her. Observing officers found it clear the victim was under the age of 18 based on her demeanor, attitude, mannerisms and the fact she was wearing a local high school PE shirt. Marcellino pled to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor victim under the age of 16 years when he was over 21, admitted his prior strike offense and was sentenced to 4 years in state prison. In addition to these offenses, Marcellino has an array of other convictions and prison sentences for theft, drunk driving, welfare fraud and identity theft. Opposition Letter
Christopher Moore – Moore has two prior 2007 strike convictions for robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, with the enhancement of personally inflicting great bodily injury. In that case, Moore robbed two victims at gunpoint. Moore hit one of the victims with the butt of a rifle, causing that victim to sustain a fractured jaw. Moore then chased down the other victim, who tried to run for safety, and punched and kicked that victim several times in the head and body. Moore was still beating the victim when officers responded to the scene. He tried to run from officers and then lied about his identity when he was apprehended. Moore was sentenced to 6 years in state prison for this ruthless conduct. In 2005, Moore drove through the family room of an occupied residence as he tried to evade officers attempting to stop him for driving a stolen car. Officers located a handgun in that stolen car. Moore was injured in the collision and transported to the hospital. Due to his conduct, he was placed in leg shackles while awaiting medical treatment. Moore pretended to need to use the restroom, at which point he tried to again run from officers. In that case, Moore was convicted of evading officers with wanton or willful disregard for the safety of others and escaping from lawful custody of an officer for pending felony charges and sentenced to 300 days in county jail. In his current committing offense, Moore was involved in a hit and run collision where he brandished a firearm in an attempt to intimidate the driver of the other car. Moore was located several hours later and denied being the driver involved in the collision. Since Moore was on parole at that time, officers searched his car and found a 9mm handgun with a shaved off serial number and 10 live rounds of ammunition for that gun. Moore was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm, having a prior strike conviction and sentenced to 32 months in state prison. In addition to these felony convictions, Moore sustained numerous parole violations and misdemeanor convictions, including resisting police officers and driving under the influence of alcohol. Opposition Letter
Christopher Bush – Bush has a 2014 prior strike conviction for criminal threats. In that case, Bush was the victim’s pimp. The victim knew Bush as “Evil.” Shortly after the victim moved in with Bush, Bush called her a bitch, a hoe and told her she gets paid to “f…” and doesn’t do it for free. On the date of the offense, the victim went into the bedroom to get her purse. Bush was in the room and yelled at her to get out and that he would kill her. The victim left and did not return until the next morning. When she returned, Bush was sitting on the bed with a rifle case next to him and told her she was lucky to walk out of there with her clothes still on her. Since Bush’s first conviction for vehicle theft in 2006, he has had five felony and six misdemeanor convictions. One of those cases include a 2006 domestic violence and possession of narcotics conviction. In that case, Bush waited for the mother of his three children to come out of a Walmart store. When she walked out to the parking lot, Bush punched her in the face with a closed fist. Bush’s current girlfriend and her sister were also waiting in the parking lot and began hitting the victim. During the assault, Bush held the victim’s sister back so the two females could continue to beat the victim. The victim informed officers that Bush usually carries a gun and claims to be a Crip gang member. Bush was sentenced to county jail for that assault. In 2008, Bush was convicted of battery on a spouse and sentenced to county jail. Other convictions include felony charges of carrying a concealed firearm, felon in possession of a firearm, vehicle theft and misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and a second battery charge. Bush’s committing offense is for vehicle theft and admitting his prior conviction, for which he was sentenced to 32 months in state prison. Opposition Letter
The Early Prison Releases webpage can be found at www.sacda.org/early prison releases.
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