Nothing is ever as it seems with Kathleen Soliah — aka Sara Jane Olson. She was on her way back to Minnesota following an early release from prison for her part in attempting to kill police officers and her part in a bank robbery in which a woman was killed, when authorities apparently redid the math of how much time she served
According to the Los Angeles Times, Shawn Chapman Holley, her attorney, says she was told by an official of the Corrections Department and was told that there might have been “a computation error.” The AP quotes Chief Deputy Secretary Scott Kernan as saying Olson was released a year too early.
“We’re launching an investigation to prevent this from happening again,” California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesman Oscar Hidalgo told the Sacramento Bee. (Suggestion: Start with the stupid ones.)
This is an extremely unusual situation,” the department’s General Counsel Alberto Roldan said.
Her attorney thinks it has more to do with protests by the police union in Los Angeles.
In any event, it was an interesting 36 hours for people on both sides of the issue, revisiting the debate surrounding her arrest and plea with no less fervor than at the start of this decade.
Even some of her critics, though, are shaking their heads over the turn of events. Says the blog Hot Air:
It’s hard to know how to feel about this. Soliah deserves a hell of a lot more time behind bars than the six she’s served, and she should have to serve every day of her too-short twelve year sentence. At the same time, it’s hard not to sympathize with Soliah’s children, who must be crushed at this unexpected turn of events.
Essentially, California still doesn’t have its act together. Prosecutors gave her too light of a sentence, and a state pardons and parole board had to extend it to the twelve years she got in the end. Now the prison can’t do math or apparently have someone double-check their work, and so let someone out a full year too early. It sounds like the same geniuses who calculate state budgets and wound up with an $18-billion miscalculation last year moonlight for the parole boards.