Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown’s parole reversal rate holds steady

Gov. Jerry Brown speaks before the California YMCA Model Legislature in Sacramento Calif., Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015.
Gov. Jerry Brown speaks before the California YMCA Model Legislature in Sacramento Calif., Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015. AP

Gov. Jerry Brown let stand about 80 percent of convicted killers’ parole releases in 2014, as in previous years using his power to reverse decisions of the state parole board relatively infrequently.

The Democratic governor last year reversed 133 of the 672 parole grants he reviewed for lifers serving time for murder, according to a report released Friday. Brown’s reversal rate was similar to his first three years in office.

Among decisions Brown reversed were parole grants for:

▪ Juan Brizuela, who was imprisoned in Riverside County after strangling a 9-year-old boy with a Nintendo cord in 1996, binding him with duct tape and cable wire and putting him in his bedroom closet, where he died.

Brizuela was 15 at the time.

According to a statement of facts from the governor’s office, Brizuela dug a grave in his backyard, pushed the boy’s body out his bedroom window and buried him.

Brown noted Brizuela’s youth at the time of the crime and acknowledged he had an unstable childhood. But he called the murder “horrific and utterly bizarre” and said he worried Brizuela remains dangerous.

▪ Charles Mosley, who was convicted of murdering a 22-year-old woman whose throat was slit and body found near a Los Angeles high school in 1986.

Canosha Griffin’s death was investigated by a task force probing “Southside Slayer” serial killings at the time, but was determined to be unrelated.

Brown acknowledged Mosley made efforts to improve himself while incarcerated, including completing vocational training and participating in self-help programs.

But Brown, citing a previous conviction of battery on a spouse and Mosley’s “ridiculous” contention that he murdered Griffin in self defense, said Mosley failed to address his history of violence against women and that “until Mr. Mosley is willing to do so, he is not ready to be released.”

▪ James Mackey, one of two former University of the Pacific football players sent to prison for their roles in the widely covered murder of a Stockton real estate agent in 1989.

The decision marked the second time in two years that Brown reversed a parole grant for Mackey.

Call David Siders, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 321-1215. Follow him on Twitter @davidsiders.

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