Kathleen Soliah (a.k.a. Sara Jane Olson) Arrested Again
[posted by Justin Levine]
Wouldn’t it suck to serve 6 years of a 12 year prison sentence in California, be let out on parole with permission to fly to see your family in Minnesota, and, just as you are about to board the plane, to get nabbed again — and be told that the parole officials screwed up and miscalculated, so you have to be sent back to serve one more year in the pokey?
Yes, it would suck if you were that person. But since I’m not that person, and always thought that she got off too easy to begin with, I can’t say that I’m all that broken up about it.
— Justin Levine
It would suck but I’m not broken up either.DRJ (a431ca) — 3/22/2008 @ 7:11 pm
I’ll let you know the moment I shed a single tear over that wretch…Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec) — 3/22/2008 @ 7:18 pm
that karma thing’s a bitchchas (68d8c2) — 3/22/2008 @ 7:37 pm
Here comes the lawsuit….because the authorities let her out, her mental faculties will be affected and she cannot possibly be returned to prison…
Or, it will be considered cruel and/or unusual punishment to return her to prison…
Watch…about a week….reff (59b2ad) — 3/22/2008 @ 7:49 pm
She was in the terorists group SLA she tok part ina bank robbery where a inocent person was murdered there should be absolutly positivly no palrole i mean BAN PAROLE FOR CONVICTED TERRORISTSkrazy kagu (e778bf) — 3/22/2008 @ 8:15 pm
So I don’t particularly shed any tears for her either, but I am curious. How, exactly, does this work? Presumably a judge issued a bench warrant, but what were the grounds, exactly?
Are there habeas corpus issues here at all?Skip (73e6c3) — 3/22/2008 @ 8:18 pm
This is a fate that I would wish on my enemies!Daryl Herbert (4ecd4c) — 3/22/2008 @ 8:46 pm
What happened was a Parole Board recuded her sentence a while back for the attempts to blow up cop cars (cause you know – fuck the cops), but failed to propperly account for the concurrent jailtime for the (i think) man-2 conviction (such bullshit). This led to a clerical snafu where if she had ONLY been in jail for the cop-car+bomb thing, she WOULD have been released. But there was still that other conviction they didn’t modify.
So I suspect it was a “retrieve your fuck-up” warrent (failing that, a bench warrent), and they quietly, without a fight brought her back.
waa-waa, so sad.
I hope they wer mocking her the whole damn way back to prison…Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec) — 3/22/2008 @ 9:03 pm
i don’t have a great deal of sympathy for her, maybe for her minnesota family. what are the three innocent daughters thinking? will anybody lose their job over this? that would be enough for me.
she would have rotted in her cell until she stopped breathing, except that patty “tanya” hearst was her gangmate. look at all the fawning tanya got, a commutation from one president and a pardon from another. then she went right back from being an urban guerilla to being a conservative republican again. if tanya gets to spend easter with her daughters, i think the same accommodation should be extended to people who don’t have hearst dollars backing them.assistant devil's advocate (e3698b) — 3/22/2008 @ 9:26 pm
ADA is so consumed with hate for Republicans, he makes no distinction between a willing, eager terrorist, and a kidnap victim with Stockholm Syndrome.
In my world, terrorists = blamed, and victims = blameless.
But don’t let anyone tell you that ADA isn’t making any distinctions. If Patty Hearst had gone on to become a lifelong Democrat, ADA would be holding her up as an example of a prime citizen who learned valuable life lessons from the SLA.
Republicans = blamed, Democrats = blameless.Daryl Herbert (4ecd4c) — 3/22/2008 @ 10:13 pm
On parole. Revoke parole. Back to jail.
More curious to who was going to let her leave the state while on parole.Gerald A (f03462) — 3/23/2008 @ 12:50 am
Tango Sierra!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM Cassel AMH1(AW) USN RET (8cce32) — 3/23/2008 @ 4:01 am
I must admit though, I am amazed at a CDC(civil service) employee actually using the grey matter between the ears. Specifically when basic arithmetic is being used.
The author is correct in that Sarah Jane should have gotten 25 to life at a minimum. But that’s the people’s socialist republic of kalifornia for you.
Even if you aren’t sympathetic, this case brings up serious civil liberty issues. Assuming there actually was a genuine ‘administrative error’ (or is it some bullshit loophole for the lapd to mess with someone they don’t like very much?), it’s simply ILLEGAL to arrest somebody who is PAROLED without a parole hearing. this is fucked. And I am only concerned because IF THIS HAPPENS TO HER IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYBODY. This is unprecedented and a major mistake. This is not about Sara Jane Olson anymore, it’s about our legal system suspiciously resembling the Stassi.Travis (e29044) — 3/23/2008 @ 7:39 am
I hope whoever was involved in the snafu is female, so they could play the ‘girl card.’TimesDisliker (097839) — 3/23/2008 @ 8:13 am
Lost in the notoriety surrounding this particular criminal and this particular case is the glaring incompetence of the government employees responsible for this snafu.Amused Observer (0825ab) — 3/23/2008 @ 8:37 am
The Sacramento D.A. was the one who gave her a break. First, that D.A. didn’t want to file a case against her but there were two L.A. deputy district attorneys that traveled around the state giving presentations to law enforcement. This embarrased and forced the Sacramento D.A. to file for murder on the bank robbery by the SLA in which a woman was executed. Then the case was settled for less.Alta Bob (aada0c) — 3/23/2008 @ 8:42 am
Back in your cage, SAVAGE! Sleep loss, zilch!Ed O'Shea (d671ab) — 3/23/2008 @ 9:45 am
Is there some way that the parole system can make this an annual event? It would be like Lucy yanking the football from Charlie Brown.Cicero (c88e09) — 3/23/2008 @ 10:38 am
Too bad she didn’t attempt to escape!
BTW, Justin, your reputation is preserved. No one will ever believe that rumor that Compassion is your middle name.Another Drew (8018ee) — 3/23/2008 @ 11:14 am
Compassion for whom? Mine is for her victims.Xrlq (62cad4) — 3/23/2008 @ 11:25 am
Xlrq, please turn your snark-detector back on.Another Drew (8018ee) — 3/23/2008 @ 11:31 am
It’s a shame that she wasn’t able to stay on parole. She could be an adviser to the Obama campaign right now but for that snafu. After all, Bill Ayers is his best (white) buddy.Mike K (b9ce3e) — 3/23/2008 @ 11:34 am
The next time law and order people justify the revolving door which is the criminal justice system on lack of resources, Sara Jane Olson is the case to prove them FOS. She had rehabilited herself. She had lived a crime-free life for twenty-three years. Her trial and incarceration were a pointless cruelty and a waste of scarce criminal justice resources. And the worst thing is that a possibly more dangerous criminal was spared the felony trial calendar and prison cell in order to make room for her.nk (34c5da) — 3/23/2008 @ 11:48 am
She must have had the worst lawyers in America to induce her to plead guilty. What admissible, twenty-three year old evidence could the government have been able to introduce in a fair trial?nk (34c5da) — 3/23/2008 @ 11:58 am
She had rehabilited herself. She had lived a crime-free life for twenty-three years. Her trial and incarceration were a pointless cruelty and a waste of scarce criminal justice resources.
Oh, sure. So anyone who has a groovy support network can blow away some horrible capitalist, then hide out under false ID for twenty-three years while the network produces accolades on your saintly post-murder behavior. And emerge to enjoy sainthood ballyhooed by all branches of the MSM.
Nice work, if you can get it. But not exactly justice. And a superb slap in the face to the survivors of the murdered party.Insufficiently Sensitive (b0db09) — 3/23/2008 @ 12:17 pm
Wow nk, that surprised me. I mean geez, she killed someone. No punishment is due? Like I said, surprised.paul from fl (47918a) — 3/23/2008 @ 12:24 pm
Punishment without a productive purpose is pointless cruelty. She is a human being and an American, too.
I understand the hunger for revenge on the part of her victims’ relatives. And that they might want society to satisfy it for them.
I have a hunger for a carne asada con frijoles. Will society satisfy it for me?
In either case, no. Society should do what is best for society as a whole. In Sara Jane Olson’s case we accomplished worse than nothing. We wasted precious criminal justice resources on the harmless.nk (34c5da) — 3/23/2008 @ 12:33 pm
AD: d’oh! Into the sarchasm with me.Xrlq (62cad4) — 3/23/2008 @ 12:43 pm
Six or seven years is pretty light for murder, robbery, and attempted murder. I always felt that the media was far too quick to squirt the tears for this creep.trentk269 (a34c4a) — 3/23/2008 @ 1:01 pm
nk…Another Drew (8018ee) — 3/23/2008 @ 1:38 pm
You do the crime, you do the time.
She killed someone, that’s a deal-breaker in every society – except where mushy-headed libs are in control.
BTW, would you apply the same standard to Sirhan-Sirhan if he was being apprehended today after 40-years of crime-free life?
NK, now that my snark detector is back on, can I safely assume you were being facetious also?Xrlq (62cad4) — 3/23/2008 @ 1:56 pm
I think NK was serious but zealous advocacy of defendants is his default position so it comes out at times like this.DRJ (a431ca) — 3/23/2008 @ 2:29 pm
i don’t have a great deal of sympathy for her, maybe for her minnesota family. what are the three innocent daughters thinking?
They are apologists for her actions, ADA.Paul (b8f307) — 3/23/2008 @ 4:29 pm
What DRJ said. I would have understood a life sentence for the protection of society from a dangerous criminal. But six years in this case makes no sense to me except as a petty temper tantrum.nk (34c5da) — 3/23/2008 @ 4:38 pm
She … initially denied that she was the person she was accused of being. At that point, I felt that a lot of her local good deeds might have been merely a sham, building a cover for her public identity. I think that if she’d been caught and convicted within a year or two of the deeds, she would probably still be in prison, and the sentence given was too forgiving. She had not “reformed”, she was hiding. There’s a difference.htom (412a17) — 3/23/2008 @ 4:58 pm
I would have understood a life sentence for the protection of society from a dangerous criminal. But six years in this case makes no sense to me except as a petty temper tantrum.
If hers was a true reformation, Soliah would have turned herself in.
And…when she was finally caught after evading justice for 20 years, she battled it all the way in.
Given the horribleness of the crime, and her peripheral involvement, I’d say six-seven years was about right.
Why don’t you ask Myrna Opsahl what she thinks?
Oh, that’s right…she’s dead.Paul (b8f307) — 3/23/2008 @ 5:08 pm
Oh yeah, Patty Hearst saw Soliah kick a pregnant teller in the stomach. The teller had a miscarriage.Paul (b8f307) — 3/23/2008 @ 5:32 pm
Is the Parole division part of California’s Dep’t of Motor vehicles?Gbear (58b08c) — 3/23/2008 @ 5:47 pm
I admit that I’m honestly confused at this point as to who is being sarcastic, and who is not on this thread (it can be tough to spot at times in this particular medium).
Let’s just keep a few facts in mind:
1. Although Olson’s/Soliah’s car bombs (filled with nails) didn’t detonate, they came very close to detonating as police were inspecting them.
2. Although she didn’t actually pull the trigger, Olson/Soliah participated in a bank robbery wherein one of her co-defendants murdered a bank customer. Olson/Soliah pled guilty to second degree murder for that incident.
3 [The most important point to keep in mind]. If Olson/Soliah had committed her crimes today, she would have faced at least 15 years to life for the second-degree murder charge and would have been ineligible for parole for at least 10 years. The only reason she got off so light was because of insane sentencing laws in effect from 1975 (when the crimes originally took place). Instead, she only serves 7 years FOR ATTEMPTING TO MURDER COPS WITH A CAR BOMB FULL OF NAILS, AND PARTICIPATING IN A ROBBERY WHERE HER FRIEND GUNS DOWN AN INNOCENT WOMAN.Justin Levine (20f2b5) — 3/24/2008 @ 2:55 am
If there is such a thing as justice, the existence of which I concede only for the sake of argument, then Socrates’s definition is the best: “Justice is that which makes a human being a better human being.” I do not see that it applies here.
If you have an unruly horse that refuses to pull the plow, do you take a rope-end to it? Or do you teach it patiently how to pull the plow? And to analogize it to this case, after it has pulled the plow for you for twenty-three years, do you then take a rope-end to it for the first few times it kicked over the plow twenty-three years ago?nk (34c5da) — 3/24/2008 @ 6:52 am
Socrates was a tool. Prison is there primarily to punish people, not to edify them. In Soliah’s case, justice would have put her in prison for the rest of her life, which would have consisted of a year or two until all her appeals had been exhausted. Whether a dead Soliah would be a better person than the living one is an interesting question, but not dispositive.
As to your earlier analogy about carne asada, you are quite correct that society has no obligation to satisfy that urge for you, but then again, they also have no right to prevent you from satisfying that urge for yourself. If you’re advocating a law that would make it legal for the Opsahls to take out Soliah on their own, I’m not sure I agree on a practical level, but it’s tough to argue otherwise on a moral one.Xrlq (62cad4) — 3/24/2008 @ 7:08 am
If you’re advocating a law that would make it legal for the Opsahls to take out Soliah on their own, I’m not sure I agree on a practical level, but it’s tough to argue otherwise on a moral one.
If I were defending the Opsahls, I would use similar arguments. Primarily, that their crime was due to circumstances unlikely to re-occur and that the overall harm to society, should society “fail to punish” them, is slight, if any. Let them go back to working and paying their taxes and raising brand new little taxpayers.
Whether a dead Soliah would be a better person than the living one is an interesting question, but not dispositive.
General Sheridan is famous for his interpretation of Socrates.nk (34c5da) — 3/24/2008 @ 7:24 am
Not similar at all. That homicidal bitch had no right, morally or legally, to successfully murder Opsahl or attempt to murder those cops. She just went and did it. The Opsahls, by contrast, have every moral right to avenge Myrna’s untimely death. They just don’t have the legal right to do it because we as a society have decided that as a practical matter, we’re better off giving the state the sole power to exact revenge for us.Xrlq (62cad4) — 3/24/2008 @ 7:34 am
Well, that argument depends on how you define a ‘better human being.’ Personally, I believe that if you murder someone you must pay. Not coincidentally there is no statute of limitations on capital crimes. Meaning someone must agree with me.
So, In my view, making sure that a capital criminal bears the full burden of their culpability will make them a better person.
Holding people to high standards and all…ThomasD (73ba21) — 3/24/2008 @ 7:47 am
Not similar at all. That homicidal bitch had no right, morally or legally, to successfully murder Opsahl or attempt to murder those cops. She just went and did it. The Opsahls, by contrast, have every moral right to avenge Myrna’s untimely death. They just don’t have the legal right to do it because we as a society have decided that as a practical matter, we’re better off giving the state the sole power to exact revenge for us.
Ok. Thank you for agreeing with me. Duz I needz to explicatz why youz agreezz with me?nk (34c5da) — 3/24/2008 @ 8:27 am
One point not mentioned yet, is the deterrent for the rest of society. Otherwise, all the cop-killers hiding in Mexico can just hang out for 23 years and make the case that they have “rehabilitated” themselves, and deserve no punishment. There is a social contract that should be upheld.
In addition, after initial sentencing, Soliah didn’t really accept responsibility. How has she been “rehabilitated” if she won’t admit what all evidence proves? She needs to do her time, and think about it for the rest of her life.TimesDisliker (5aefd6) — 3/24/2008 @ 9:13 am
How old are you people ? 12 Don’t you thing a 60 year old woman, who obviously was remorseful and changed served a life sentence already.
Cruel and Unusal punishment, you bet. We are protected in the bill of rights
Anybody a young adult in the late 60;s early 70’s was subject to the Patti Hearst syndrome. It could of happened to anyone.
Let her go and put in the gang drive by killers, oh what the police are afraid of them.Terrianne (d77925) — 3/24/2008 @ 10:48 am
“Remorseful” is not the correct word to describe her. The only remorse she has shown was that she was caught.htom (412a17) — 3/24/2008 @ 1:22 pm
Dunno. Is it because you finally got me to concede that some form of a “social contract” may be appropriate in some circumstances after all?Xrlq (62cad4) — 3/24/2008 @ 2:23 pm
If you describe Sara Jane Olson as “remorseful”, then you are completely ignorant about her case. After hiding from justice for nearly 24 years, she publicly insisted that she was innocent on more than one occasion, but said that she pled guilty because of the “witch hunt” atmosphere after 9/11 that would deprive her of a “fair trial”.
Do you actually need me to link to the articles of record proving this fact? Or would you care to discover this on your own?Justin Levine (e5df9a) — 3/24/2008 @ 2:33 pm
I fail to see the difference between Sara Jane Olsen and Charles Manson. They both murdered people to advance their personal beliefs. Twenty three years of hiding out, especially in a comfortable middle class environment doesn’t really do much to counter her actions. If there is any justice she will die before her next parole hearing.Ken Hahn (7742d5) — 3/25/2008 @ 1:13 pm