Monday, February 11, 2019
Court of Appeal:
Beating and Robbery of Parolee, Leaving Him Without Funds for Travel to Los Angeles, Excused His Failure to Report to Parole Office the Day After Release, Rubin Declares
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Court of Appeal has held that a Los Angeles Superior Court commissioner abused his discretion in revoking the parole of a man who, upon being released from prison in Kings County on a Wednesday and given travel fare, was beaten and robbed by gang members at the train station and did not report to the Probation Office here until the next Monday.
Reversal of an order by Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Jerry B. Marshak cancelling the parole of Arturo Aguirre and committing him to a county jail for six months comes in an unpublished opinion by Presiding Justice Laurence Rubin of this district’s Div. Five, filed Thursday.
With no funds for travel following the robbery, and having failed to pan-handle sufficient funds for a ticket, Aguirre managed to hitch a ride to Los Angeles, arriving on Friday, May 18, 2018, two days after his release. However it was after office hours, and the Parole Office was closed over the weekend.
When he showed up on Monday, May 21, he was arrested pursuant to a warrant that had been obtained on Friday.
At a hearing before Marshak, Aguirre testified that the beating had rendered him a “bloody mess,” which was verified by photographs taken of him on May 21.
The commissioner termed Aguirre’s injuries “startling,” but said:
“From Parole’s point of view, there was a long delay here between when you were released and when you did finally report. And it really needed to be a lot shorter than that.
“I don’t know if a phone call or any other kind of contact would have helped ameliorate the filing of this petition or the arrest warrant. I don’t know. It seems like a very short time. Perhaps it’s not something that each of us would have done if we were in parolee’s shoes, but they do have the ability to do this. It is within the law.
“You did have the requirement that you signed to report by...10:00 A.M....the following day. And transportation was given.
“Things that happened that are very unfortunate, but this is the position parole is taking.”
Delay Not Intentional
Explaining the reversal, Rubin wrote:
“[U]npredictable events outside of defendant’s control prevented defendant from strictly adhering to his parole conditions. There is nothing in this record to suggest that defendant’s conduct ‘was the result of irresponsibility, contumacious behavior or disrespect for’ the conditions of his parole….Indeed the trial court appears to have reached the same conclusion. Under these circumstances the court’s parole revocation constituted an abuse of discretion.”
In a footnote, Rubin said:
“We agree with defendant that this issue is not moot. Although defendant has served his 180-day sentence, the parole revocation may have collateral consequences and be used against him in criminal and noncriminal matters….Reversal of the parole revocation would also result in the 180 days defendant spent in custody being credited to the maximum period of his parole (thus reducing the length of his parole by 180 days).”
The case is People v. Aguirre, B290620.
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