VOICE OF JUSTICE
December 1994                          Official Publication of JUSTICE FOR ALL                             Volume 2 Issue 12
"Justice will only be achieved when those who are not injured by crime, feel as indignant as those who are."
-King Solomon 635-577 BC



DUAL SUPERVISION: LATEST FAD IN KEEPING
CONVICTED FELONS IN OUR COMMUNITY
by Andy Kahan

According to the Harris County Supervision and Corrections Department, there are over two hundred fifty (250) offenders who are on parole and probation, concurrently. That number is expected to increase to over 1,000 offenders next year. The main reason for the expected increase in dual supervision are the new state jail felonies that call for probated sentences; for crimes as auto theft, theft and some drug offenses. Since the new penal code went into effect, there have been approximately twenty parolees charged with state jail felonies. Dual supervision is such a new phenomenon that most officials contacted, either were unaware that it existed or never heard of this new wave of "supervision.

In order to be a dual supervision case, certain factors must exist:

1. A parolee commits a new offense. 2. A parolee is convicted of the new offense and a judge sentences them to probation or deferred adjudication*. 3. The parole division elects to continue the convicted felon on parole supervision while he or she is concurrently serving their probated sentence.

There are several reasons one can speculate as to why convicted felons are allowed to be on dual supervision. A judge might be inclined to grant probation or deferred adjudication on a non-violent offense feeling that the court will have better control over that individual as opposed to sending them to prison for a short period of time. Parole division might feel that if a judge grants probation to a parolee who breaks the law, then they are also willing to give them another chance. An example would be: a convicted felon on parole for auto theft is convicted of a state jail felony auto theft (whose purpose is to divert "non-violent offenders from the penitentiary). To revoke their parole would defeat the intended purpose of the new state jails because they remain on parole.

The following are case examples of dual supervision:

1. Bobby Gene Blue received a five-year deferred adjudication for delivery of a controlled substance in 1993. He is currently on parole for a 1988 Aggravated Robbery with a deadly weapon with a sentence of 8 years. 2. Charles Ray Burton received a ten-year deferred adjudication for possession of cocaine in 1993 and was on parole for a 99-year sentence for three counts of Aggravated Robbery. Burton is on annual report -- meaning, all he has to do is mail in a report once a year to Austin. 3. Cathy Rushing Hines received a ten-year probation for Theft in 1993. Her priors include a ten-year sentence for two counts of Theft in 1990, five years for theft in 1987 and three and one-half years for Auto Theft. 4. John Kevin McLenon received a ten-year deferred adjudication for possession of cocaine in 1994 and was serving a twenty-year sentence for a murder conviction in 1985. 5. Dirk Connie Ryan received five years probation for D.W.I. in 1993 and was serving a three-year prison sentence for D.W.I. in 1991. Go figure that one out!! 6. Barbara Nell Ginn was sentenced to ten years probation for Forgery in 1994. Her priors include : 25 years for Theft (habitual), 1986 on two counts of theft, and in 1979 it was three years for Robbery.

Believe it or not, even the illustrious death row inmate Kenneth McDuff was on dual supervision. While out on parole, McDuff was convicted of driving while intoxicated and was granted probation. His parole was not revoked and was remained on dual supervision until his arrest and conviction for a 1992 abduction and slaying, which placed McDuff back on death row. There are many other similar examples I could describe but I think you get the point. From a fiscal view-point it is absurd that you the taxpayer are paying for both a parole and probation officer to "supervise this offender who has already violated his parole by being convicted of a new offense. If he or she is such a bad egg that needs to be watched by two officers, one could easily conclude they should not be on the streets in the first place. To the Harris County Probation Department,s credit they have foreseen this phenomenon by creating dual caseloads so that dual offenders are under one jurisdiction within their department. Officials with the parole division admit they don,t have a clue as to how many parolees they supervise who are serving probation for crimes committed while on parole. One might think that if Harris County Probation Department has already identified dual offenders then all the parole division has to do is call or even write them a note ASKING THEM, but that invokes common sense -- a forgotten art amongst certain jurisdictions. Because of dual supervision, studies that chart recidivist rates will have to be altered because technically those individuals are not counted as repeat offenders because even though they have committed a new felony offense while on parole, they have not been sent back to the penitentiary. Research in the past has stated that about fifty percent of parolees will return to prison within three years of release. Obviously, one can conclude those recidivist rates should have been higher because of dual supervision. The parole officials have already stated their position that they were not going to treat state jail felonies as felony convictions for the purposes of parole revocation. Logic would make one wonder how a person can be on both probation and parole. Unfortunately, we do not have a logical criminal justice system so dual supervision is here to stay and will undoubtedly be growing by leaps and bounds and you, the taxpayer, will be paying not once, but twice.

*Deferred Adjudication " refers to a condition of probation whereas, if you complete the stipulated time frame without committing a felony offense; your criminal record will be cleansed of the offense.



FUGITIVE CAPTURED AFTER 31 YEARS

It has been almost thirty-one years since Ora David Lott was charged with robbing and murdering Alfonso C. Orosco, Sr. at his place of business. On Sunday, July 19, 1964 Lott walked into a Fifth Ward beer wholesale store and robbed, then calmly shot Mr. Lott in the chest while his ten-year old son, Alfonso Jr., watched in horror.

The suspect was apprehended in 1972 in Florida and then released by accident due to an error made by Houston Police Department. The Orosco Family never gave up and asked HPD detective C. P. "Abby Abbondado to reopen the case in September 1993. With the assistance of Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force officers, J. R. Dees and John Bertolini, Lott was traced to New Orleans. The suspect was arrested again as of September 30, 1994 and is being held without bail in the New Orleans jail. His extradition to Houston is scheduled for the first week of January 1995.

The defense attorney is asking the State of Texas, because of his arrest and release from Florida, to drop the murder charge, because their client was denied his constitutional rights by not receiving a speedy trial. The sons of the victim are members of Justice for All and request that fellow members write to the District Attorney's office and express their concern that the full force of the law be carried out in this case. Your help in this matter will be greatly appreciated by the Orosco Family. The District Attorney is: William James Hawkins, Jr. Assistant District Attorney District Attorney's Office 201 Fannin, Suite 200 Houston, Texas 77002-1901



MANDATORY SUPERVISION

Convicts are freed from prison when the time they have served on their sentence plus their accrued good-conduct time equals the maximum term of their sentence. Like parole, the release is supervised - and those released must comply with rules for the full term of their sentence. Example -- If a convict serving a 10-year sentence gets out after spending six years in prison, he or she will remain on mandatory supervision for the next four years. Unlike parole, no review or approval by the Board of Pardons & Paroles is required.

How many of those released are returned to prison for violating the rules or committing new crimes? Of the 3,354 released on mandatory supervision in 1993, 1140 were returned to prison. Of the 5779 in 1994, there were 1735 violators. But those figures do not include convicts who were released on mandatory supervision from county jails, where they were serving time because of overcrowding at state prisons.

Are all criminals eligible for mandatory supervision? No. Those who were convicted of some crimes after Sept. 1, 1987, are not. The crimes include murder, capital murder, indecency with a child, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated robbery, use of a deadly weapon while committing a felony, sexual assault, aggravated assault, deadly assault on a police officer or a corrections officer, injury to a child or an elderly person, first-degree arson, first- or second-degree robbery, and first-degree burglary. Are all violent offenders ineligible for mandatory supervision? No. Those convicted before Sept. 1, 1987 remain eligible. When was the mandatory supervision program started? In 1977 by the legislature. They reduced eligibility for some violent offenders in 1987.

SEE NEXT MONTH,S ISSUE FOR CHANGES OCCURRING
THAT WILL AFFECT MANDATORY SUPERVISION





How many Texas Convicts have been
released on Mandatory Supervision.




From the President

During this time of sharing and caring I would like to wish each and every one of you the happiest holiday season possible. During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we sometimes let our guard down and I would like to remind you that this is when the thugs and boogiemen are rampant so please be safe. Also, drive carefully so that we can spend the next year accomplishing the goals we have set forth.

By the time you receive this newsletter, our Holiday Remembrance tree will be decorated at City Hall. If any of you could not attend the ceremony, I would like to encourage you to take the time to view the tree. For those of you who so kindly participated in the event, I would like for you to know that when we are dismantling the tree, you are welcome to join us and to take your special ornament for safe storage or you can be assured that we will do our best to protect your ornament in a safe storage container and will place it on the tree next year. The choice is yours.

I am sure that all of you with children have warned them about not to talking to strangers. We all understand this concept and why, but have you ever asked your child what a stranger looks like? I would like for you to ask them at an appropriate moment. I think you may he surprised what their answers will be; I was! I would appreciate it if you would mail or fax these responses to me so we can share them with the membership in the February newsletter. I will be waiting. After you have heard their responses, take a moment to explain what strangers really look like.

Have a safe happy holiday and we will see you next year " get ready for the legislative session! What a great year it will be!!

Pam Lychner


worth repeating

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." " Calvin Coolidge

worth reading

"The Ends of Power" by H. R. Halderman
"Must Our Prisons Be Resorts" by Robert James Bidinotto published in the November issue of Reader's Digest.



 UPCOMING EVENTS

Wednesday, December 15 Plea bargain hearing to be held in Honorable Judge Caprice Cosper's 339th Harris County District Court, 301 San Jacinto at 9:00 am. Brian George is pleading guilty to the Capital Murder of KENNETH MAXEY on September 7, 1990. Kenneth Maxey, 31, was at a car wash when he was taken by gunpoint by George (17) and another juvenile (15) and driven a few blocks and murdered. George agreed to serve three life sentences to run concurrently. The other juvenile is serving a thirty-year sentence and has been up for parole.

Monday, December 19
Public Access will air the coverage of the JFA Crime Victim,s Forum held on November 4, 1994. Check local listings for your cable channel and time.

Saturday, December 24
America,s Most Wanted will air featuring Andy Kahan and how he has benefited crime victims and crime victim groups, with Pam Lychner and Madonna Pitrucha.

Have a Safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Monday, January 9 Jury selection begins for the second defendant, Erica Sheppard, in the murder of MARILYN SAGE-MEAGHER in Judge Carl Walker,s courtroom, 301 San Jacinto at 9:00 AM.

Wednesday, January 18
DANA SKYVARA would like to meet with concerned citizens regarding sexual assaults in the Conroe area. Ms. Skyvara was a victim of a sexual assault and the man accused of the crime was released due to results from DNA testing, but she is convinced that he was the perpetrator. The meeting will take place at the Woodlands Public Library in The Woodlands beginning at 7:00 PM. Please attend.

Monday, January 30 Jury selection will begin for William David Kelley with additional charges for burglary with the intent to sexually assault PAM LYCHNER four years ago. Honorable Judge Caprice Cosper, 339th Harris County District Court, 301 San Jacinto at 9:00 AM.

Monday, April 17 Jury selection begins of the trial of Rex Mayes in the double murder of KYNARA CARRIERO and KRISTIN WILEY. The trial will be in the 176th Harris County Criminal District court with Judge Raines presiding.

 UPDATES


November 22, 1994 " A hearing took place to determine the fate of Charles Dean Spiccuza after a plea-bargained ten years of deferred adjudication for the torture and murder of three year old TIMOTHY STRUTHERS. Victims' Rights advocates have been watching this case with great interest. After hearing the details of how little Timothy died on his third birthday, many were shocked and questioned why such a incident could go virtually unpunished. Judge Langford was admonished for his actions in this case and with street protest and publicity, he lost his election. Langford blames this case for the demise of his career as a district judge.

From the time of the murder in 1982 until 1991, Spiccuza was out on bond. He plea bargained to a ten-year deferred adjudication. Spiccuza gave the family a second chance for a trial by violating his probation with a felony DWI. In the courtroom of the Honorable Judge Cosper, his probation was revoked and he now must stand trial for the murder of Timothy. Judge Cosper said " Justice had not been served in this case and we are going to have a jury trial within 60 days.

December 8, 1994 " Authorities have arrested Micheal Shane Goode after a 11 month investigation by a private investigator, hired by Sharon Couch. After two-year old KATHERINE RENEE GOODE died under suspicious circumstances in the custody of her father, grandmother Sharon Couch was not satisfied with the cause of death. Mr. Goode had separated from his wife and was required to pay $680 per month and was behind in his payments by about $6,000. Two months earlier, Mr. Goode took out an insurance policy whereas he would benefit by $50,000 and he had not seen the child nor wanted the child. Katherine died of suffocation.




THE FOLLOWING SPEECH PERTAINING TO THE DEATH OF JEFFERY DAHMER WAS DELIVERED ON THE FLOOR OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES BY
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES A. TRAFICANT, DEMOCRAT-OHIO, NOVEMBER 28, 1994

Jeffery Dahmer killed seventeen people. He skinned his victims, cut up their body parts, he even ate their flesh. For that crime, Jeffery Dahmer was granted three square meals, a law library, and a cable TV. Ladies and gentlemen not any more; a bunch of prisoners in Wisconsin got tired of waiting on the Supreme Court for "TERM LIMITS." Jeffery Dahmer was beaten to death. This case, Mr. Speaker, clearly depicts the weakness of the American Justice System.Jeffery Dahmer should have been sentenced to death by a jury not by a bunch of thugs in prison. Let there be no mistake, Americans are fed up with a Congress that coddles killers and forgets about their victims. And this is certainly not a day to celebrate such a brutal killing, but the truth is, Jeffery Dahmer earned it, he deserved it; "GOOD NIGHT SWEET PRINCE." Congress should learn from a bunch of prisoners who provided some justice in America.





This issue is dedicated to the Memory of Kenneth Maxey, Son of Shirley Maxey


 Return to JFA Home Page