SLO judge sides with Jerry Brown in parole dispute
June 4, 2015
A San Luis Obispo Judge ruled that Governor Jerry Brown exercised legitimate authority when he overturned a decision to parole a 23-year-old San Luis Obispo man, who at 13 used a skateboard to beat an 87-year-old man to death. [Tribune]
In 2005, Robert Holguin broke into 87-year-old Gerald O’Malley’s trailer, beat him to death and then drove off in the victim’s car. Following his murder conviction, Holguin was sent to a youth correctional center and later transferred to Patton State Hospital.
In March 2014, the California Juvenile Parole Review Board found that Holguin no longer posed a threat to society and voted unanimously for his release. But, Brown vetoed the parole decision after state and federal investigators said Holugin hacked into a state-owned computer and sent a threatening email to the governor.
“i feel you should really eat my dick and eat it over and over again you better hope i never see you i will shoot you with a real gun and my cock. have a nice day and god bless,” Holguin allegedly wrote.
Last month, an attorney with the nonprofit Prison Law Office in Berkeley argued before San Luis Obispo Judge Linda Hurst that Brown’s authority to reverse parole decisions does not apply to minors. A deputy attorney general, who represented Brown at the hearing, argued that Proposition 89, which voters passed in 1988, gives the governor broad authority to reverse parole rulings.
In a ruling filed two weeks ago, Hurst stated Proposition 89 did give the governor the power to reverse parole decisions. Hurst cited a ballot pamphlet that she wrote for the Legislative Analyst’s Office prior to the 1988 election.
Hurst wrote in last month’s ruling that there was no doubt the ballot pamphlet informed voters that the proposition would give the governor the power to reverse parole rulings.
Additionally, Hurst wrote in the ruling that Brown was free to conclude Holguin posed a threat to society and the governor had reason to believe so. Hurst’s ruling is likely to be appealed.
Holguin can only remain in the custody of California’s juvenile system until he turns 25. Haloguin turns 25 in Dec. 2016.