In Santa Cruz County, a couple of parolees made the local news. I’ll call them John and Juan. They’re both about 40 years old. They’re both abiding by at least a portion of their parole terms by staying drug free.
John is apparently turning his life around. He’s an honor student at the local community college. He’s made friends. He drives a car.
Juan flips burgers. He can’t afford a car and rides a bicycle. He’s also dating a 17 year old girl, which is more than mildly icky in my book.
John and Juan apparently ‘exchanged words’ when John allegedly assaulted Juan by swerving his car into Juan’s bicycle in the road. Juan reported this assault to the police, and John is now at San Quentin awaiting a hearing to determine his status as a parolee.
The community has shown an outpouring of support for John. His classmates, friends and family have written letters to the parole board and have encouraged other residents to do the same. One local paper has editorialized that because Juan was not injured, John shouldn’t be thrown back into prison. After all, John is an upstanding citizen who drives a car and is turning his life around, while Juan is a low life who rides a bike and is probably a child molester besides.
If John threatened Juan with a loaded handgun, there would be no question about John’s parole status. But because John’s weapon is “just” a car, there’s no harm, no foul, and John should be let go. And besides, the local attorney has declined to prosecute because he doesn’t believe there’s enough evidence to guarantee a guilty verdict.
What do you think? Should John have another chance?
More –> Release denied.