Parole Board’s Continuing Irresponsibility
By Eric Siddall
The state parole board continues its reckless policy of early release for violent felons. We previously documented some examples of the parole board’s dangerous trend of ignoring public safety when labeling inmates to be released early as “not a danger” to the public.
This past week a panel of commissioners voted to grant parole to William Bradford, who was convicted of murdering his former wife in 1988 by pumping hollow-point bullets into her body. Why? Because the panel said there was no evidence he would pose a threat to the public.
This was an extraordinary conclusion – and not just because of the cold-blooded nature of his crime. Bradford’s own daughter, Shaun Rickerl, begged the board not to release her father. She said she continues to be terrified of him.
Veteran prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney John Lewin, asked the board to deny Bradford parole. The reason: Not only did Lewin prosecute the case, but after Bradford was convicted, it was discovered that Bradford was plotting to murder Lewin and his family.
“This is the one guy that scares me,” Lewin told the Los Angeles Times. “How dare [the parole board] play Russian roulette with my family.”
The panel’s recommendation is not just terrifying for Rickerl and Lewin. It’s terrifying for all Californians. The board’s lack of judgment is reaffirmed continuously by their poor decisions. Governor Brown has reversed parole grants on multiple occasions. We hope he does it again.
Eric Siddall is Vice President of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, the collective bargaining agent representing nearly 1,000 Deputy District Attorneys who work for the County of Los Angeles.