Court Orders Attorney General to Reveal Date Parole Decision was Sent to Governor

Thursday, November 18th, 2021

Nov 18 – California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal today ordered the state’s Attorney General to reveal the date when Leslie Van Houten’s 2020 parole grant was sent to Governor Gavin Newsom.

Van Houten was recommended for parole on July 23, 2020. The Board of Parole Hearings normally has 120 days to review parole decisions, but due to COVID-19 protocols, the review period was shortened to 90 days. After the BPH review, the decision is sent to the governor who has an additional 30 days to weigh in before the grant is finalized.

Newsom reversed the grant on November 27th, seven days after the cut off.

Van Houten’s attorneys have been trying to pinpoint who was late, BPH or Governor Newsom. The Attorney General has refused to confirm the actual date the grant was sent to Newsom, arguing Van Houten isn’t entitled post-conviction discovery. Superior Court Judge Roanld Coen, sided with the Attorney General, denying Van Houten’s motion back in August.

Additionally, the Court of Appeal has ordered the Attorney General answer whether a failure to act within the 30 day period is a jurisdictional bar to the Governor’s power to review the decision.

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19 Responses to Court Orders Attorney General to Reveal Date Parole Decision was Sent to Governor

  1. Rich Pfeiffer says:

    Believe it or not, the superior court denied the request for documents that would indicate when the Governor’s 30-day window of jurisdiction started. The law is that the Governor only has 30 days to review a grant of parole but the Governor refuses to say when those 30 days started! Then the concentrated fight to keep the start of the 30 days secret only added to the question why not give the date if the Governor acted in a timely manner? The law recognizes the concept of fundamental fairness, apparently the Governor does not.

  2. Billy Esquire says:

    “Newsom reversed the grant on November 27th, seven days after the cut off.”

    “The Attorney General has REFUSED to confirm the actual date the grant was sent to Newsom,…”

    “Believe it or not, the superior court DENIED THE REQUEST for documents that would indicate when the Governor’s 30-day window of jurisdiction started.”

    “The LAW is that the Governor only has 30 days to review a grant of parole but the Governor REFUSES to say when those 30 days started!”

    “Then the concentrated fight to keep the start of the 30 days SECRET only added to the question why not give the date if the Governor acted in a timely manner?”

    Let’s see……the 5 quotes above are crystal clear as to what’s going on. Keeping things SECRET? REFUSING? DENYING REQUESTS? REVERSED SEVEN DAYS AFTER THE CUT OFF?

    Just to be clear…..it’s the “good guys” that are keeping things secret, refusing, denying requests, and doing things AFTER cut off dates? It’s the lawMAKERS doing these things?

    Sounds like THEY are the lawbreakers to me. From the looks of things, the wrong people are in prison.

  3. W. Guild says:

    This is promising for Leslie. Cheers from down under 😊

  4. Pam says:

    Ridiculous attempt to get a butcher of human life off.

  5. Paul says:

    Pam they won’t let her out for the reasons she should of legally been given parole for years so every little helps at this point.

  6. Rich Pfeiffer says:

    Pam apparently does not want the law to be enforced. The law would have had her released 20+ years ago. If the prosecution or Leslie’s opponents did not like the 7 to life sentence, they should have appealed – – 45 years ago. It’s too late to complain now. So, the question is – – do you want the law to be applied or do you want the law to be ignored because you don’t like the law? If you choose to not apply the law, you have become one of the law breakers. I don’t understand why those who want Leslie to die in prison can claim they are law abiding citizens when they don’t want the law enforced. I understand Newsom wants votes and not to follow the law. But the rest of you???? You don’t need votes, you just don’t want the law to be imposed or enforced. You want to be lawbreakers. What makes you better than Leslie who has for decades been willing to suffer the legal consequences for her conduct? Leslie accepts the law and its punishment, why can’t you?

  7. Fayez Abedaziz says:

    There is something definitely weird about this run-around between a Parole Board having made final decisions, then onto a governors office, then a consederable wait time, then…
    What?
    Why do we have to go through this.
    Then I thought, that, I want to say this to everybody:
    doesn’t it seem like some people already made a decision, in the governor’s office. And, that they are also influenced by some as people that used to go there, from the D.A.’s office in L.A. to object to parole for Leslie?
    Until recently, that had been the case. It’s like we’re trying the case all over again.
    As I recall, not too long ago, in the recent past, new laws stopped that and that’s good.
    Neither L.A. nor the D.A.’s office in L.A., are what they were in the 60s or 70’s and should be
    concentrating on crimes in La La land, these days.
    People go running to speak against Leslie’s rightful, very legal, path to freedom.
    I also thought, I wanna say this to everybody:
    why is it that the State of California allows this twisting of the laws, when it is supposed to be a ‘liberal, really liberal’ State?
    Here in Colorado, I have personally had a complaint or two and it was relatively easy for me to walk right up to a Mayor’s office, twice, over the years. The persons in the front office were cordial and helpful. If I insisted, civilly of course, I’m sure they would relay, that same day, my concerns and would have me talk with the Mayor.
    And, one day, I was having a coffee at a coffee shop/bakery, in downtown Denver in the front, a patio area. A former Governor was there, at a table. I said, “how ya doing” and we had a couple minute chat. Then I said, I have been looking at the case of a lady, Leslie Van Houten, in California and the governor there stopped her parole approval and so, what do you think. He was surplrised. Then he said, “I didn’t even know that.” About a couple states allowing a Governor to do such a veto, as it were. I said, yeah, after all these years, the Governor in California did that. It was obvious that he thought that was something beyond a certain ‘pale’ so to speak. If someone could talk with Governor Newsom aside from the couple members of his staff who actually decide and have him sign away, I’m sure he will be
    convinced as to the moral and legal way and he would allow the Parole decision to stand.
    So, when the Californua Supreme Court ruled, years ago, that the main reason to deny an inmates freedom must be to show that there is risk to society from that freedom.
    So all they have to do is to insert that sentence that says ‘unreasonable risk to society.’ That is downright dis-honest and a perversion of the Court’s intent!
    Left and right, inmates are released and given help by agencies and charitable groups.
    Just give parole they say and yet, many of these former prisoners committed very awful crimes of violence and they are out after 20 years, maybe a few less or more.
    Would they, those that are against Leslie’s release, feel the same way, if one of their family members had done the ‘mixed up’ ‘bad trip’ Leslie had been in at so young an age?
    If they cared for that person, you can bet they’d be the first ones to say, “give her (or him)
    a break, 20 years is such a long time.” She or he was so young’ and so on.
    I’ve seen and lived both side in the 60’s and 70’s. From being with ‘hippies’ to being with the
    ‘glamorous’ and rich. I was more to the left, in California, in those decades than most California liberals were. How did such a ‘liberal’ State become so prejudicial to the point of meanness and discrimination against a young girl?

  8. Billy Esquire says:

    Fayez Abedaziz said: “How did such a ‘liberal’ State become so prejudicial to the point of meanness and discrimination against a young girl?”

    Newsom couldn’t care less about Leslie and doing what’s right. He knows full well that she’s not a danger to others and that she deserves to be paroled. The only reason the governors have been denying her parole is because, for some reason, they think allowing her to leave prison could cost them votes.

    Remember….the ONLY thing 99% of the politicians care about is votes, staying in power, and money. As long as THEY come out ahead, personally, everything and everyone else can be damned. This is especially true for liberal politicians. The more liberal they are, the more they can be counted on to go against rules, laws and doing what’s right.

  9. Michael says:

    Rich, keep in mind that some of us DO accept the law and DO accept the reality of Leslie’s rehabilitation and compliance with what the law requires in order for her to be paroled. We (gain some of us) believe the law itself is wrong in that it allows for someone who has committed such heinous crimes to ever be released, period.

    It’s unfair to assume we think that alone makes us better than Leslie. It just means we think she should not be released on moral grounds, but we can accept that she probably will and that it is within the parameters of the law for her to be paroled.

    I do not agree with any governor keeping her in for purely political reasons, and yes, I think Newsome’s reasons are just that. In that sense I agree the law is not being followed as it should be. I also think the law itself is wrong.

  10. Rich Pfeiffer says:

    Michael and Billy, you two are spot on regarding Newsome reversing for votes. That is pretty clear. Michael, the law did provide for Leslie to be sentenced to life without parole. However, the court, after hearing all of the witnesses and seeing the evidence, almost granted her probation but then gave her the next lowest sentence, 7 years to life. At that time, she had over 8 years of credit so she was eligible to be paroled at the time of sentencing. If people didn’t like that sentence they certainly could have appealed but nobody did. It’s too late now to complain.

  11. Michael says:

    True, Rich, I was incorrect in citing her sentencing as “the Law.” Regardless, it’s possible to disagree with that sentence (as I do and I think others do) without “complaining” about it. It’s simply my disagreement, which obviously has no bearing but which exists and is expressed on this board,

    I think where Leslie is concerned, there’s the camp which believes the Governor has legitimate grounds for denying her parole, then the camp which believes her crimes warrant her staying incarcerated but who also admit she should be paroled on legal/technical grounds, then the camp which believes she should have been paroled by now. Plenty of room for discussion between these camps, but not much likelihood of consensus.

    For what it’s worth, despite being in Camp 2, I believe Leslie is light years away from the deluded young woman she was 50 years ago, and I appreciate what she says today about the crimes and the responsibility she takes for her part in them.

  12. Cybele Moon says:

    Very well said Michael.

  13. Michael says:

    Thank you Cybele, and hey, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

  14. W. Guild says:

    Leslie has helped a lot of women in prison . She’s a true role model . She is not bitter about her plight . She seems thoughtful and rehabilitated.

  15. Wolf's Stare says:

    Pam, why the anger?

  16. Wolf's Stare says:

    To me the most important thing a human must have is hope. I keep thinking what this might do to other inmates who did wrong things, are paying the price, trying to follow prison requirements, for future release
    then see how Leslie is being denied her freedom after more than 50 years of compliance with prison rules and regulations, plus paroled 5 times, way too late in my opinion. Do they say screw it, there’s no hope getting out of here , even if I do the right things. People have to have hope in something, even this crappy world we live in now that things will get better, or what’s the use.

  17. Lee says:

    She shouldn’t pack her cardboard box just yet! Hope she doesn’t ever get out!!

  18. Fayez Abedaziz says:

    Very well said, Wolf.
    That which is promised by the rules and laws toward any of us, and then, to see the opposite happen, to us, after adhering, striving and working toward what we’re told, is not only unfair, but brings into great question, the belief in the sysytems/authority that makes
    those rules and laws.
    And, forgiving does not have to mean also forgetting and there is something with us humans that is called, not only practical reason, but also empathy.
    Before throwing stones, let’s look into our own hearts and so, those without faults let them throw the first stone, those ‘perfect’ people among us.
    Empathy, healing is what so many need to understand and have-Tikkun: to heal the world.
    And us, one another as persons with our good and bad, as Paul McCartney sang with Stevie Wonder- “there is good and bad, in everyone…learn to live…” as we learn to give each other…what we need to survive

  19. Cybele Moon says:

    Wolf’s Stare, she will indeed be coming out into a “crappy world” if she gets out. I bet it would be a very hard adjustment.
    My thought is this. Their crimes were pretty heinous and I do not feel sorry for the time she has spent in jail. Two people lost their lives in a horrific way, so basically that is 25 years for each life. The victims had the potential of living another 30 or forty years of a normal lifetime. They were robbed of that and all the experiences life offers. That’s how I see it.

    Fayez, I do agree with empathy and healing but not everyone gives each other what we need to survive which is why there are prisons or mental hospitals. – to protect people.

    Now there are some predatory type people who should never be let out as they will always be a danger to the rest of society. I’m not saying Leslie is one of those however.

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