- Anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s resignation
40 Years Ago, Martin Luther King Jr. Assassinated
Supreme Court Case Hears Key Case: Detainee Rights
Former Symbionese Liberation Army member Sara Jane Olson was paroled March 17 after serving six years in prison related to the attempted bombings of LA police cars in the 1970s and the shooting of a customer during a bank robbery. The 61 year old Olsen was rearrested at LA International Airport shortly after her release after discovering that they had miscalculated her sentence by a year.
Olsenâ€™s attorneys say she should be freed from prison immediately because California corrections officials had no authority to re-arrest her after she was paroled last week, her attorneys argued in a court motion filed today.The motion filed in Sacramento County Superior Court claims that Olson’s due process rights were violated when she was returned to prison Saturday to serve at least another year behind bars. According to the lawyers filing: Once an inmate is released on parole, the board can only suspend or revoke her parole. It has no legal authority to arrest her and re-incarcerate her.
“After being released from prison for five days, Olson was literally snatched by the board in the dark of night and imprisoned without notice, without a hearing and without an explanation,” her lawyers say in their motion. “Such an experience is certainly horrific and may have caused lasting psychological damage.”
San Francisco attorney David Nickerson, who filed the motion, said a judge will have three options: deny the motion; order the parole board to show why Olson should not be released; or ask the parole board for an informal response to explain what happened.
Prosecutors and family members of the woman who was gunned down in the Carmichael bank robbery objected to Olson’s release from prison, prompting the corrections department to review her sentence and ultimately determine that she had been released too soon. The state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation began an internal affairs investigation Monday into what officials said was a clerical error that led to Olson’s release.
Officials said Olson was supposed to serve two years for the Sacramento County murder in addition to the 12 years she was to serve for the Los Angeles County crimes. Instead, her records showed that she was to serve the sentences at the same time. The SLA, an urban guerrilla group started in 1973, was best known for kidnapping Patty Hearst, heir to the media chain. The group also carried out bombings and bank robberies, and six of its members died during a shootout with Los Angeles police in 1974.
Guest: Susan B. Jordan, criminal defense lawyer and civil litigator. Susan is well known for her work in defending women charged with violent crimes and is credited with the creation of the battered spouse defense. Susan represented Sara Jane Olson (Kathleen Soliah), Los Angeles Superior Court, 1999-2002. This case involved the defense of Sara Jane Olson, captured after 23 years, alleged to be a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), charged with conspiracy to bomb police officers. Defendant entered pleas of guilty. Check out Susan’s noted cases here.
The Arrival of the American Police State – Left Forum 2008
“However narrow and restricitive American bourgeois democracy was before 9/11, it’s jridical and institutional underpinnings have been transformed by the Bush Administration (with the complicity of the Democratic Party) intor what can now most accurately be described as a police state.”