Cop killing teen’s likely parole: Gang-hit reset button
TONY PERRY | Los Angeles Times
…The San Diego Police Department was shaken by the slaying of officer Archie Buggs that damp night in late 1978. In its aftermath, officers demanded better equipment and an end to the policy of having one-officer cars even in high-crime areas.
The civic leadership had yet to fully accept that San Diego had a growing menace of street gangs and drug violence. But denial was no longer possible after the murder of Buggs, 30, an Army veteran of Vietnam, an African American pledged to helping the community where he grew up…
Unless Gov. Jerry Brown intervenes, Buggs’ killer, convicted of first-degree murder and given a life sentence, is set for parole…
The case is an early test of a new state law meant to make parole easier to attain for inmates given lengthy sentences for crimes committed before they were 18.
Jesus Cecena, with a long list of juvenile crimes, was four months shy of 18 on Nov. 4, 1978, when Buggs stopped him for speeding…His passenger, a fellow gang member, handed Cecena a gun and he began firing, including a final shot to make sure Buggs was dead..(Full text at Los Angeles Times)
As detailed in the excerpted article, Jesus Cecena is now an ostensibly contrite, model prisoner whose sole desire is to “honor Officer Buggs in a positive way” by living a peaceful, productive life.”
Paco thinks that is a reasonable and honorable goal. HOWEVER, it is a goal which can and MUST be attained in prison. Accepted at face value, the evidence upon which the BPH granted parole conclusively establishes Jesus is living as peaceful and productive a life as a Lifer. That is good–Kudos Jesus!
That said, when I was “four months shy of 18″ I knew it was wrong to murder a police officer. In fact, colloquial as it sounds, most of us at the time (I graduated the year prior) knew murder as a mortal sin. Thus, I am unmoved that it took over 3 decades for Mr. Cecena as pertains to potential parole.
Which is to say, I do not believe those who murder cops in cold blood should ever be paroled–I don’t care what the Court says. If the Court wants to release cop killers, let them order it. Until then, our elected leaders are well advised to look out for our safety, as opposed to avoiding litigation.
It is well documented criminal gangs long ago designated minors as hit-men precisely because juvenile courts guaranteed the killer would not be executed–The killer would get almost certainly be released at age 25. In response, trying juveniles as adults was codified. The incentive to enlist minor killers was vastly diminished.
Clearly, paroling a man who was “four months shy of 18″ when he executed a police officer, means a green light on any peace officer deemed a problem by gang shot-callers. Get a kid to murder a lawman, use him as a soldier inside for 3 or 4 decades and when he paroles, we’ll have a big old party for him. That’s the practical reason for Governor Brown to reject the parole grant.
Beyond the practical, Jesus Cecena probably is a changed man but, virtuous or not, he murdered a police officer and, for that, should only be released from prison as a corpse. That goes for all cop killers.
Larry Lasater‘s murderer was on 2 weeks short of 18 and, thanks in large part to his tenacious mother, Phyllis Loya, his parole grant was rejected. Here’s hoping the late Officer Buggs’ family receives the outcome they deserve as well. -