Veto SB 1391

Veto SB 1391

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Gov. Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE:  Opposition to SB 1391

Dear Governor Brown:

My name is Cathy Russell and I am writing in opposition to Senate Bill 1391, which would end the transfer to adult court of individuals who commit a crime while under the age of 16.

The passing of SB1391 will have a direct and devastating effect on me and my family.  On November 10th, 2009, Jae Williams brutally murdered my nephew, 15-year-old Michael Russell.  On the night of November 10th, 2009, Jae Williams (15 at the time) and Randy Thompson (16 at the time) lured “their friend” Michael into his residence’s back yard with false pretenses.  Jae Williams tackled Michael to the ground, held him down, and stabbed him repeatedly. Between them, Jae Williams and Randy Thompson stabbed Michael over 11 times, piercing his lungs, his heart and his carotid artery. When asked why he killed Michael, Jae Williams stated “I guess I just wanted to kill somebody.  I saw my chance and I took it.” Jae Williams admitted to planning Michael’s murder over a period of several weeks. The two had previously killed and tortured rabbits, squirrels and cats. They wanted to find out what it felt like to kill a human being. Jae Williams was found guilty on May 6th, 2014 – five years after the murder. He was subsequently sentenced to 26 years to life. We attended every court hearing for nine years and have continued to do so throughout Proposition 57 hearings.  Throughout the criminal trial and to this day, Jae Williams, now 24, has shown no remorse for his actions.  The actions of Jae Williams on the night of November 10th, 2009 were cruel, vicious, and callous. If you sign SB 1391 into law, he will be free to walk the streets in two years.  

SB 1391 is intended to provide rehabilitation services and a second chance to those who commit crimes before their 16th birthday.  Michael Russell had just turned 15 years old when he was brutally murdered.  He will never get a second chance at life, while Jae Williams, even if remaining in adult court, will get an opportunity at Juvenile Offender Parole.  We continue to live a life of fear, grief, and solitude.  We have had to live this nightmare every day since November 10th, 2009.  We have sat through court hearings for the last nine years.  The passing of SB1391 will be a complete disregard for the emotional pain and suffering caused to us by the cold and calculated actions of Jae Williams.  

I ask that you support victims of crime and public safety by vetoing SB1391.  We deserve and are entitled to a fair and just system, where we, too, are treated with dignity and respect.  Every day we are serving a life sentence without Michael.  Please support victims of crime and refuse to sign SB1391 into law.  

Sincerely,

Cathy Russell

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!