Offender advocates in California who worked to end natural life sentences for teens who committed the most aggravated murders have often misrepresented the facts of these crimes. We are devoted to truth telling about the crimes.
For example, watch this chilling video of California teen killers openly admitting their lack of remorse. Some victim voices are included.
An attorney painstakingly traveled to various California county clerk’s offices and pulled the records. Summaries are available at the links below, separated by county. Read about these crimes: the facts make the appropriateness of their life sentences clear.
Further full detailed case records are available by contacting us at NOVJL@aol.com. Here is a spread sheet of all the California JLWOP offenders that we have.
For more information on this issue, use the pull down tabs at the top of this page. The “Victim Memorials” section tells many of the stories of the murder victims. Under “States and Legislation” > “California” there are several pages detailing SB 9, listing all the offenders in a spread sheet, and linking downloadable information important for voters and legislators to read, such as the Cost Study done by a prominent California Defense Attorney, detailing the high costs of SB 9 to taxpayers.
California Begins Re-Sentencing for Early Release of Teen Killers
SAN DIEGO – A man convicted of murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole was given a reduced term Friday and could someday be freed.
Both the victim’s family and the family of Oscar Rubi-Franco attended the hearing in Judge Frederic Link’s courtroom Friday.
Oscar Rubi-Franco, 37, spoke softly as he turned to face the family of his victim Friday morning.
“It’s hard to find the right words to apologize and ask for forgiveness,” he said.
The downtown San Diego County criminal courtroom was still.
“I really can’t ask for nothing because I feel I don’t really deserve nothing. I am really sorry for what I did,” Rubi said.
In 1993, Hank Holcomb was 56-years-old when he was killed as he got money from an ATM in Imperial Beach. Rubi, a Los Angeles gang member, was 17 years old when shot Holcomb during the attempted robbery.
He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus four years.
However, under Senate Bill 9 — which became law in 2013 — Rubi has been given a second chance since he was under 18 at the time of the crime and sentenced to life without parole.
Rubi’s attorney said he is a changed man, although the deputy district attorney on the case argued that the convicted murderer was not ready for an opportunity of freedom.
Link considered the life lost of a man he called a great guy.
“This is a two-way street. This is not just poor Mr. Rubi, this is also poor Mr. Holcomb, and I understand how this family feels,” said Link.
Holcomb’s daughter, Lydia Medina, brought a framed portrait of her dad to court and showed it to Rubi.
“I want you to look at this face, the only memory I have of my dad, the only memory!” she said to Rubi.
Her brother, Gregg Holcomb, revealed some of his pain.
“I don’t have any pictures of my dad in my house, zero. I can’t handle it,” he said.
William Graves, the victim’s son-in-law, said, “The stuff I’m hearing, I’m not convinced that you’re a changed man.”
Link said, “I feel so sorry for this family.”
He also expressed his laboring over fairness.
“Is his heart so black, to use a term, that he will never, never, never change?” said Link.
Rubi was re-sentenced to 25 years to life, plus four years. He could be freed in the future, Link said.
Rubi’s sister, Diana, said, “Very happy about what happened today. I know it’s going to be a very long process for him.”
Rubi’s wife had a brief conversation with Gregg Holcomb just outside the courtroom door, and she said, “I just wanted to talk to Mr. Holcomb’s son and tell him how sorry we were.”
Gregg Holcomb acknowledged, “It’s hard, peeling the scab off and going through it all again. I want closure, I don’t want to keep going through this process and so if he gets paroled, I might want to check in and see. He did a horrendous act, but I don’t even know who he is as a person so I’d like to learn more.”
California Already Protects Teen Killers
California is already among the most lenient states in the nation regarding teen killers. None get a life sentence unless they are over 16. Most states nationally set the age at 13 or 14. None get transferred to adult court without an individual court case review and then an appeal opportunity. Many states have no such extra layer of protection for 16 and 17 year old murderers. And very few even face a life sentence unless the murders are extremely aggravated in some way, “special circumstances.” Over the last several decades only about 250 inmates have received life sentences, and all for brutal crimes.
We have been shocked by the misinformation campaign mounted by some offender advocates (For more, see Propaganda) including repeatedly claiming that the USA is the only nation in the world to give life sentences to extremely dangerous and violent killers that were 17 or even 16 at the time of their crimes, misapplication of the brain research, etc. (See Myths and Facts)
We have been disappointed at the way the news media and some legislators have simply repeated the lies and misinformation. Workers with Human Rights Watch, for example, interviewed offenders who, not surprisingly, lied about their roles in the crimes. But instead of verifying the content from the interviews with the facts of the crime as proven in court and by the evidence, HRW reports inaccurate accounts of the crimes, claiming these versions of the stories as justification for early release of these teen killers.
They have also published accounts of offenders with anonymous identities that investigating attorneys have not been able to identify the existence of, after much effort. The reported facts of the crimes in the offender advocates’ versions of these possibly manufatcured, unverifiable cases could not possibly have happened as they describe, due to the California legal system’s procedures. We have asked for verification of the identity of these offenders from the advocates but we have only received silence in return.
Our message to HRW and other anti-incarceration activists supporting early release for these convicted murderers: Publish ALL your data, name your cases, as we will be here. And publish facts, not offender’s versions of what they want you to believe. Finally, notify the victims families of your intention to retroactively change the sentence of the person who killed their family members, because under California’s constitution they have a right to know and be heard in the process. Not only are you clouding the truth, risking public safety, and costing the taxpayers unnecessary millions of dollars, you are re-injuring and deeply hurting innocent and already devastated victims families and their loved ones.
An Example of What Happens When Teen Killers are Not Prosecuted as Adults
From the December 30, 2010 Blog Ask Sacto 9-1-1: 2 teens who stabbed woman to death out of prison
Q: What happened to the two young girls that stabbed to death an 80-year-old woman in an Auburn apartment complex in the early ’80s? I heard that one girl also stabbed a prison guard. – jimbob, Auburn
A: Shirley Wolf, then 14, and Cindy Collier, then 15, were convicted of the slaying of June 14, 1983, slaying of 85-year-old Anna Brackett.
The victim died in her condominium after being stabbed 28 times with a butcher knife. The death wound was 4 inches deep, authorities said.
Wolf and Collier each received an 8-year sentence in the California Youth Authority for the killing, The Bee reported.
Wolf was still in prison until at least the late 1990s after she assaulted guards, in one case stabbing a California Youth Authority supervisor. The supervisor survived the attack. She also tried to escape by ramming a stolen prison vehicle into a prison gate.
The Bee was unable to determine the current locations of Wolf and Collier, but they appear to no longer be in the state prison system.
In 1983, Wolf told authorities that she and Collier picked out cars they liked at an Auburn apartment complex and then knocked on doors with numbers that matched the car stalls, asking for directions, for a glass of water or to use a phone.
Brackett answered their knock and chatted with the girls for three hours.
“Saw she was an old lady. Perfect car. Just a setup. We figured we’d kill her,” Wolf told sheriff’s deputies. Wolf said it was her “job” to hold down Brackett and kill her while Collier ransacked the house.
“She was telling me to stop,” Wolf told sheriff’s deputies. “That she was dying. And I turned and I go, ‘Good.'”
California Historic Teen Killers
|Penny Bjorkland was a normal teenager. Just like anyone you’d find in any small town in the United States. Blonde hair, blue eyes, freckles, and a pony-tail. She even considered herself a “normal, average girl.” Her friends in school noticed she was really nervous, a nail biter, and a bit of a loner. Once in school she was caught with a container of Vodka and orange juice in her locker. Although on February 2, 1959 police discovered the turnout of her minds workings. On that day the body of August Norry was found in the Daly City hills, south of San Francisco. Norry was a twenty-eight year old landscaper, married, and about to become a father for his first time. He was known as a lady’s man, but that wasn’t much of a lead to figure out why someone had fired eighteen bullets into him. Their best lead was a testimony of a boy who had seen a freckle-faced blonde driving Norrys car like mad away from the hills, and the .38 caliber bullets. After two months of investigating the police found the “freckle-faced blonde” by tracing the bullets. They were made by a real distinctive mold, the man that made them remembered selling them to Bjorkland. The police picked her up at her parents’ Daly City home. Her confession the next morning answered a lot of questions. She had stolen the .38 from a friends bedroom sometime in January. On Sunday, February 1 she left home with the army-issue handgun tucked into the waistband of her pedal pushers, but didn’t know what she was going to do. But soon she realized what she wanted to do when August Norry picked her up and offered her a ride. When she got out of the car, she faced Norry and fired five shots into him. Going around the car, she took out fresh ammo and reloaded. When she got to the drivers side, she fired five more shots into Norry. Still unfinished she went back to the passengers side of the car and shot him more. Then took the body out of the car, and drove off. When the police asked her about motive she replied “For about a year or a year and a half I’ve had the urge to kill someone,” she said, a bit embarrased. “I’ll admit that the motive sounds crazy, but I wanted to know if a person could commit a crime like this and not worry about the police looking for her or have it on her conscience.” And in the end she stated “I’ve felt better since I killed him.” At her trial the reporters described her as having a “giggling disinterest.” Up until the judge read her verdict: life imprisonment. She was stunned, and stated that “I am unhappy.”|