Controversial data provided by two independent sources regarding California’s massive life prisoner population

Hall, Richard G., Jr.



CONTROVERSIAL DATA PROVIDED BY TWO INDEPENDENT SOURCES REGARDING CALIFORNIA'S MASSIVE LIFE PRISONER POPULATION. By: Richard G. Hall,Jr. "The major role of the Press is "to continually recreate a view of reality supportive of the existing social and economic class power. Much of what is reported as "News" is little more than uncritical transmissions of official opinions to an unsuspecting public. What reporters pass off as objectivity, is just a mindless kind of neutrality." Michael Parenti (Media Critic) In 2011, two versions of data regarding the same subject matter was disseminated to the public/world on-line. The data was in regards to California's massive and rapidly increasing life term prisoner population. The first was relinquished by California's KALW News( June 16,2011. The article was entitled: "New data shows California lifers more likely to die in prison than to get parole." by Martina Castro. The second was a very comprehensive report compiled by "Stanford University's Criminal Justice Center," authored by its Law Schools co-directors,Robert Weisberg and Joan Petersilia and executive director Debbie Mukamal. The Stanford report is entitled: "LIFE IN LIMBO: An Examination of Parole Release for Prisoners Serving Life Sentences with the Possibility of Parole in California (September 2011). With all due respect, the article written by Martina Castro is clearly quite contradictory. If not altogether oxymoronic. On (1) grounds the alleged new data provided readers blatantly runs counter to its title. Accordingly, the data was allegedly provided to a reporter by the name of Nancy Mullane, who allegedly used California's "Public Records Act"to obtain such data from the "California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (CDCR). Mullane is said to have been following California's parole process for life prisoners for four years. In turn, during an interview with KALW News' Holly Kernan, Mullane shared such data. Which in turn was passed on to fourth party - Martina Castro. Who in turn has since shared such data with possibly millions of trusting people on-line. As it stands, such "new data" provided that "there are now 17,000 inmates in California prisons serving life with the possibility of parole." The data also alleged that for the year 1990 to 2011, almost 1,000 life prisoners have been released on parole in California. Further, the data alleged that from 2000-2010, 674 individuals who had served life sentences with the possibility of parole for 1st and 2nd degree murder convictions had been paroled from California prisons. Whereas and alleged 775 lifers had died in prison during that same 10 year period hoping to be paroled. According to the Stanford report regarding California life prisoners serving such terms with the possibility of parole. It was acknowledged on page two (2) that data provided in the report had been obtained from California's "Governor's Office; the very same California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (CDCR) reporter Nancy Mullane was said to have obtained her socalled new data from; and the Board of Parole Hearings(BPH)." (2) Accordingly, the average reader would not know one way or the other whether or not the information provided by KALW News, or even Stanford University was based on substantiated truth and accuracy. As it stands, if it is true that reporter Nancy Mullane had in fact followed California's parole process for life prisoners for four entire years. She would have instantly known that the data provided her was not only extremely inaccurate but highly questionable as well. Any well read lifer in California would have assure Ms. Mullane that there are well over 30,000 inmates currently imprisoned in California serving terms of life with the possibility of parole. Ironically, to add to this point, on page three (3) of the Stanford report in the "Introduction,"readers were accurately informed just 3-months later, that there are over 32,000 inmates in California currently serving life with the possibility of parole. And a smaller population of 4,000 inmates currently serving life with no possibility of parole. A combined total of over 36,000 life prisoners. If the data relinquished by KALW News is off by a mere 15,000 plus lifers. How can it be believed that 775 lifers have died in California prisons from 2000-2010?There is legitimate cause to suspect that such information provided to Ms. Mullane was also considerably sandbagged as well. Nonetheless, why is it that the data obtained by Stanford University was far more accurate, therefore credible? It's simple. Aside from taking the time to obtain such information from a variety of sources in order to compare for consistency. Stanford used a team of researchers who took the time to do a great deal of homework to ensure such a report not only had substantiatable standing. But would not later (3) diminish the credibility of Stanford University's Law School. Which is one of the finest in the world. Nonetheless,I did find a few significant discrepancies conveyed in the Stanford report. Fortunately, because the report makes it clear that such an examination of California's life prisoner parole process will be ongoing. I have since contacted executive director Debbie Mukamal to not only bring to her attention that such discrepancies taint the report. But provided her with a great deal a very credible data which substantiated any and ail claims made by me in dispute of such discepancies. To date,I have received no response form Ms. Mukamal. Nonetheless, for good measure, all such information was also distributed to professional sources across the nation to also consider. As it stands, one of the areas of the Stanford report I took great issue with, was information contained on page twenty-three (23) concerning "Psychological Evaluations"and California life prisoners. On page (24), entitled - "Forensic Examinations," the Stanford report provides: "The governing standard for granting parole is whether the inmate presents a current risk to public safety. The Forensic Assessment Division (FAD) is charged with conducting forensic examinations on lifer inmates prior to their meeting with the Board. We are currently researching the tools and procedures used by FAD to determine the role the examinations play and the weight they get-and should get-in assessing current and future risk." (4) Readers are advised to keep informed regarding the Stanford report, which is truly unique. Especially considering California hosts the largest and most expensive life prisoner population not just in America, but the entire socalled free-civilized world. This reality is significantly accentuated by the existence of California's draconian "3-Strikes Law."Which is enforced to sentence untold numbers of convicted felons to a term of 25 years -to-life if convicted of literally any classification of offense, especially "Non-violent"victimless crimes. This results in California's lifer population only increasing rapidly. Which serves to demonstrate that despite the handful of lifers that are blessed to be released on parole each year. Such numbers are rapidly replaced 3-fold or more each year as well. As if not a single lifer had been released from prison. In concluding, I would like to bring to the readers attention the Aug/Sept 2002 issue of U. S. News & World Report. The issue was entitled: "THE ART OF THE HOAX." On page (33) the title caption read: "rumor: an unsubstantiated report in general circulation." A very amusing, and certainly eye-opening story about a New York HOAX-Master by the name of Joey Skaggs. (joeyskaggscom.) Skaggs is an expert at convincing put the cart before the horse reporters into believing some of the most fantastic flim-flams. In turn, they don't hesitate to convey such "True-Fiction" to the notoriously gullible public. The story illustrated how skaggs successfully convinced reporters into genuinely believing that he was a "Roving Priest offering religion to people on the go." Skaggs reeled them in by boldly riding around town on his (5) tricycle with what he labeled as a "Portofess Confessional" mounted on its back. According to faker Father Skaggs, "Revelation is the most important part of the hoaxing process." He says that that is the point where consciousness can change. Skaggs also emphasised that you would think that by him repeatedly embarrassing reporters via his hoaxes, you would actually think that would sharpen their skepticism. Evidently it doesn't. Ultimately, Skaggs had this to say: "The media's job is to question a premise, but information overload and strain to get a story first gets in the way of getting it right." In the end, it will not be the original liar who will get the blame for the misinformation. It will be those who disseminate it to the masses as second/third and fourth parties, who are the ones to actually give life to such lies. What is the most rational solution to this? Do your homework before you go public with info. (6)

Author: Hall, Richard G., Jr.

Author Location: California

Date: October 20, 2013

Genre: Essay

Extent: 6 pages

If this is your essay and you would like it removed from or changed on this site, refer to our Takedown and Changes policy.

Takedown and Changes Policy
Browse More Essays