In a case that has drawn the attention of critics of AB109, California's prison realignment law, the son and daughter of an elderly Stockton woman who was allegedly raped and murdered by her grandson are suing the state and San Joaquin County, saying he should have not have been released from county jail.
According to the lawsuit filed Aug. 8, parole employees supervising Jerome Sidney DeAvila knew he was a danger and "were aware that on numerous occasions, he had stated his intent to harm, kill, and/or rape his grandmother," Racheal Renee Russell.
The body of the 76-year-old woman was discovered late February inside a wheelbarrow in the backyard of her South Golden Gate Avenue home.
DeAvila's case drew the attention of critics of AB109, which has parolees serve their revocation sentences at county jails instead of state prison.
Parole violators are routinely released and are usually the first to go early in San Joaquin County, because the jail has to meet a court-ordered population cap to avoid overcrowding.
And some overcrowded jails in the state are not booking them at all.
I doubt that a suit for damages has much chance. However, the state's criminal justice system certainly did fail Mrs. Russell. All the preening pseudosophisticates congratulating themselves on how "smart" they are on crime can go home to their safe, leafy neighborhoods, while the consequences fall on people like Rachael Russell.