California Supreme Court Depublished Roy Butler’s Parole Remand Opinion
Dear readers, let me begin with a bit of good news; after 28 years of incarceration Roy Thinnes Butler has officially gone home. Butler Paroles! On June 27, 2014, Roy was officially entered into CDCR computers as “Address: Paroled.” My previous articles depict every step that led to his release and I urge you to read them. Anyway, congratulations to Roy, my dear friend.
But, as not to leave any ripples in the timeline continuum, on June 6, 2014, the California Supreme Court DEPUBLISHED Roy Butler’s parole remand opinion where the Court ordered Roy back to the Board for a new hearing on March 5th. This means that all of the favorable legal language produced in that case to combat improper Board denials CANNOT be cited by us who follow. It’s not the end of the world by any means, but People, it is the very real product of what I have described and warned of in previous articles: your previous governors have planted that State Supreme Court with their toadies, who today are solemnly expressing their gratitude by rubber-stamping whatever comes down the pipe from higher-up.
Money trumps law. Those same toadies are in charge of expenditures in each individual case, up to and including the uber-expensive process of opposing parole for lifers. And it’s not a matter of simply dispatching a deputy prosecutor to help guide individual cases that need special attention (such as high-profile or potential reoffenders); it’s about expending YOUR redirected County dollars to oppose parole in EVERY CASE, regardless of merit. What’s even more disturbing is that, in the rare event when these lifers actually get parole, those same “public safety crusaders” don’t even bother to ensure that lifers have the resources they need to succeed, and most importantly NOT REOFFEND. Roy Butler is one such case of a lifer who “won”, and I can’t speak for Roy, but I’m sure the D.A. isn’t running around town lining up job offers for him; they DID show up to oppose his release though.
Make no mistake; when you elect D.A.s and judges and governors into office based on insidious and counterintuitive “tough on crime” promises, you’re also giving them a blank check from your tax dollars. Those tax dollars would be better used in schools, and even in after-school programs that could teach kids life skills on how to avoid a life of crime. Let me mention for the record that Santa Clara and Marin Counties, including their District Attorneys, are truly protecting the public interest with proactive programs like the ones I describe above and in previous articles. They are a true example, and their plummeting crime rates are PROOF that the programs work.
Anyhow, the CA Supreme Court’s decision to depublish Butler (A137273) from the Official Appellate Reports (it appeared as 224 Cal.App.4th 469) is but an insignificant victory, because it doesn’t undo Roy’s new hearing and the resultant parole he gained. He’s out there among you in his suit and tie, going to work and helping others as part of his lifelong plan to make up for what he took.
The fact is, there is still work to do, especially for me. I just wrote a petition on behalf of a man named Stan McClain, who has been in prison since 1982 for second-degree murder. His sentence is identical to Roy’s, except Stan has more time in. Stan is merely the lead petitioner, seeking a new parole hearing, because just like Roy, he only has had one disciplinary write-up in 32 years, involving some elastic waistband material from the sewing shop where he worked. Essentially, his is only one of the many declarations filed in his case, because even AFTER the Butler Settlement, the Board HAS NOT CHANGED IN THE LEAST. It is just another fact that I predicted in my previous articles, and a product of several interrelating factors, which I will attempt to explain below. Most importantly, Stan’s petition is as a “class,” so it can’t end with Stan.
Credentials have no bearing on the gross understanding some people may have or hold. My gripe is that I’ve explained this issue to lawyers and wannabes, and they insult me by calling me a wannabe myself. Folks, I’m not a lawyer, I’m an engineer. I’m an avid reader and my hobby is writing. In the world of law, I’m just a donkey. But if you can read and are of average intelligence, legal decisions and opinions are mostly reference and conjecture, and the person with the highest rank gets to have the last say and his/her opinion becomes the law. So as for all the credentialed lawyers and assorted gurus, if you can’t reason and tactfully convince others, your opinion doesn’t count. That’s the American Justice System for you in a nutshell. Thankfully, and Praise God, I have reasoned well and convinced those with the highest rank that the law is broken here. Tweet a link to this article to everyone you know.
Until my next, I sign off.
Written by Rudy while incarcerated in California.