SLO County man considered for medical parole

May 22, 2011

A San Luis Obispo County man serving a 157 years-to-life sentence for kidnapping, beating and raping a woman he ran down as she left a San Diego Club is being considered for an early medical release. [MercuryNews]

A stabbing behind bars left Steven Martinez, 42, a quadriplegic, and raised his cost of incarceration to about $625,000 per year.

Martinez could become the first California inmate granted medical parole under a law that took effect this year when his release is considered on Tuesday at Corcoran State Prison, the Mercury News said. The program is intended to parole inmates who are medically incapacitated, saving the state millions of dollars a year.

The balance between savings and safety is at the crux of the debate over the law proposed last year by J. Clark Kelso, the receiver appointed by the federal courts to oversee inmate medical care, the Mercury News said.

“He can breathe on his own and he can talk. That’s it,” Martinez’s attorney, Ken Karan of Carlsbad said. “It’s just not reasonable to suggest he is a likely candidate to go out and commit a crime through somebody else.”

However, Richard Sachs, a supervising deputy district attorney in San Diego County, intends to oppose Martinez’s release before two parole board commissioners at Corcoran.

“The law is useful for saving money for the state, but it doesn’t fit this particular situation because he’s still very angry and very violent,” Sachs said to the Mercury News.

Thirty-two other states and the federal government have similar medical parole programs, according to State Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, who carried the bill.

“We still have a $10 billion hole in our budget. Schools are still at risk of closing days, if not weeks, early. We’ve slashed higher education. We’ve devastated our social safety net. We don’t have tens of millions to waste on the Department of Corrections,” Leno told the the Mercury News.

The cost of medical care for paroled inmates could be paid by Medicaid, private insurance and prisoner finances. After a pressure sore Martinez suffered in prison required him to spend 6 months in an outside hospital, he was awarded $750,000 in damages.

The program is expected to lower the high cost of providing guards to watch over paralyzed or comatose inmates. The state will still cover some of the released prisoner’s medical costs and the law promises it will not burden counties or hospitals with remaining costs.

The state will still bear some cost for their care, and the law promises the state won’t burden counties or hospitals with whatever costs remain.

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Not having insurance would just be completely crazy. I am an accountant and in my local area “Penny Health Insurance” is the best health insurance finder I ever had. Yes my insurance does cover dental and eye insurance which is a big help to my life.

Heres a background to one of the problem:

Dr. Jack Kevorkian has been known as “Dr. Death” since at least 1956, when he conducted a study photographing patients’ eyes as they died. Results established that blood vessels in the cornea contract and become invisible as the heart stops beating. In a 1958 paper, he suggested that death row inmates be euthanized, and their bodily organs harvested. In 1960, he proposed using condemned prisoners for medical experiments.

In 1989, a quadriplegic, too handicapped to kill himself, “publicly asked for assistance”, and Dr. Kevorkian began tinkering on a suicide machine. But a different patient — Janet Adkins, a 54-year-old with Alzheimer’s — was the first to test the device. It worked. Kevorkian then provided services to at least 45 and possibly more satisfied customers.

In 1997, however, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Americans who want to kill themselves — but are physically unable to do so — have no Constitutional right to end their lives.

Dr. Kevorkian was sentenced to 10-25 years in prison, but was paroled in 2007, in failing health and nearing his own death.

(You can’t even offer this miserable sob an out – its criminal if you do)

…” a pressure sore Martinez suffered in prison required him to spend 6 months in an outside hospital, he was awarded $750,000 in damages.”

And their lies the problem. First of all, I would die if I had to spend 6 months in a hospital because I couldn’t afford it. Secondly, a family member that works in a prison told me that these inmates have nothing but time on their hands and many of them spend that time in the prison library learning ways to sue the prison. This needs to stop. No doubt the prisons wouldn’t have such financial hardships if it wasn’t for the frivolous inmate lawsuits.

As far as this guy getting out,,,I guess he needs to get out so they can make room for the guy that accidentally killed the little dog.

I can see why they want to let this dirt bag out but I do worry that they might make a mistake. For example, look at the guy that plotted the bombing of the Pan Am

plane in Scotland. They sent him back to Libya to a hero’s welcome for humane reasons and he’s still alive and kickin and the last video that I saw of him he looked pretty happy.

His incarceration is costing $625K a year! What is wrong with this picture, has the prison system gone insane or are they ripping everybody off? I would like someone to explain how it cost $625K to oversee the care of a quad. Cripe, my father had Alzheimer’s and was a real hand full. We placed him in a private nursing home that was well staffed by experienced caregivers and the food was excellent.

That cost him $90K a year, now would someone explain how this guy cost $625K when all they have to do is roll him over every hour so he doesn’t get another friggin bedsore and sue us for another $750K, like he did last year. This guy doesn’t require half the care that my father did (because my dad could run around and he did, all the time) and dads care was excellent for less than 18% of the cost. How is that possible?


Well said to wake up eveyone

Not to worry, the problem has already been solved! Just keep a Denver Boot handy for this guy, and voila! Instant incarceration wherever he may roam!

(yes, this was a cheeky reply… couldn’t resist – “you should have, r0y, ya should have!”)


Well said

A buddy of mind after Vietnam war commented:

“You don’t have to do a thing, you don’t have to do anything”

(My own comment: leave it to lawyers and government or judges to screw things up, the courts released the PamAm 103 bomber because of cancer on compassion a couple of years ago, as far as I know he is doing well and has not died yet!)

the high cost of providing guards to watch over paralyzed or comatose inmates. just maybe they could consolidate inmates in this condition and have a common facility for the care.

Well, they might do that already. Of course security should be less for those folks, though I imagine facilities are more. I guess I would offer them just what I would want for myself, not being a criminal and having a life. If I were comatose or paralyzed I would go for the needle, no way to live. In fact, even if faced with a large number of years in the big house I would rather be killed-save everyone a bunch of trouble.

I agree, I would rather be dead than incarcerated or paralyzed but you forget that guy’s who commit the types of crimes that he did are usually cowards, BIG COWARDS. He doesn’t want to die and definitely doesn’t want to say hello to his maker.

It’s very clear what should be done. His quality of life is gone, he is expensive (to us) and he committed a terrible crime. The needle…

Oh, what say the bleeding hearts out there? Can’t do that! Well, who will pay for this piece of human wreckage to live on for 20 or more years, when that money could be hiring teachers, feeding DESERVING kids etc.

If we are going to make draconian cuts this is a prime place to start. Kick him out with a bracelet, and no benefits. He will live or die, on his money, not ours. He should have been given the chair in the beginning.

Wait a minute: I thought hotdog was the bleeding heart type! I’m all for not paying for this “human wreckage” as you put it – does he not have any family somewhere to dump him onto?

This guy has plenty of money, he sued the prison because he had a bedsore and he received $750K for neglect by the staff! What a dirt bag. I think he should be made to pay for his care and since he is always threatening to kill somebody, (he can afford to pay someone to do it and he obviously knows plenty of vicious criminals) he should be put in solitary confinement.


I recently agreed w/one of typoqueen’s post and now this?! hotdog, well said. There are plenty of law-abiding disabled folks out there struggling to pay for insurance premiums, medications, wheelchairs, etc. and here’s a total scumball rapist who’s been sucking on the public teat for far too long.

The progressive left is for fairness, justice and freedom. There is no justice or freedom if we despoil our environment for short term gain. There is no fairness when we allow our corporations to run the country for profit at the expense of the working person and our democracy. And supporting dirt bags (whether in prison or not) while deserving, innocent citizens go hungry is wildly out of whack with common sense and a decent sense of fairness and humanity.

I can’t imagine how this clown got 750k for his bed sores.

I am conflicted by this situation as I am sure many are; the man is a quadriplegic and certainly would not be able to physically attack someone. IF he were to be released from prison, I would think that certain limits on his ability to “be” in society should be implemented, like not being able to go out into public without supervision, not being able to lure someone into his home or where ever he lives and so on. I really do understand the fiscal need to consider the early release for inmates like this man, I am just a little uneasy about his ability to manipulate someone who comes into contact with him. I wonder if anyone has asked his victim what they think should be done?

“I wonder if anyone has asked his victim what they think should be done?”

YES, BOB!! Excellent question!!

This policy makes sense to me although I would not have shed any tears if the guys that stabbed Martinez had finished the job. This guy desrves no compassion for what he did.