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 July 29, 2016, 147 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 July 2016, inmates granted early prison release include:
Alejandro Valencia (Case #14F06025) – Valencia tormented and inflicted great bodily injury on a 22-month-old infant. In January 2003, officers responded to Valencia’s residence to conduct a welfare check regarding possible child abuse. Valencia’s co-defendant, the child’s mother, was holding the infant who had bruises covering her forehead and head, patches of hair missing from her head, and going in and out of consciousness. The infant was rushed to the hospital and observed to have multiple one-half to one inch bruises all over her body, a hand-shaped bruise to the left side of her head, a solid bruise from the top of her buttocks down the back of her thighs and to the back of her knees, and severe bruising to her left ear. Some of the bruising on her chest appeared to be from pinching. She also had a lacerated liver and a blood alcohol content of .013 percent. Valencia took this case to trial and was convicted of four felony counts of child abuse, two with an enhancement for the infliction of great bodily injury on a child less than 5 years old. He was sentenced to 100 months in prison. Two of these offenses are violent strikes. While on parole for that offense, Valencia committed his current offense of being a felon in possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number, which was found during a parole search. Valencia was also found to be in possession of ammunition and methamphetamine. Opposition Letter
Shane DeMartini-Pavel (Case #14F06425) – DeMartini-Pavel has a 2013 strike conviction for assault with a deadly weapon and infliction of great bodily injury. In that case, a bartender called 911 to report that “A customer got a bottle broken across his face and he has a two-inch gash above his eye and you can see straight through his skull.” It was DeMartini-Pavel who wielded a beer mug at the customer because she felt he was laughing too loudly with his friends. The victim required nine sutures to close his facial wound. During court proceedings for this assault in 2012, DeMartini-Pavel got angry with her boyfriend and repeatedly beat him with her fists. She was convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence for this assault. She was sentenced to 180 days in county jail for the assault conviction and 90 days in county jail for the domestic violence conviction. In DeMartini-Pavel’s commitment offense, she stole a purse from a car and went on a spending spree, hopping from store to store writing checks and using credit cards on others’ accounts. She was simultaneously running a fraudulent check scheme, swindling businesses out of money by passing phony checks. Opposition Letter
The Early Prison Releases webpage can be found at www.sacda.org/early prison releases.
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