DA Bradley’s Latest Cause

Posted in Around The State, Criminal Justice, Williamson County at 10:06 am by wcnews

Too much sound and fury signifying nothing, New task force sets out to stop offenders from being paroled:

The Williamson County district attorney has formed a task force to help keep convicted murderers such as Vincent Gordon from getting out of prison early.Gordon, 33, was convicted of raping and killing 85-year-old Thelma Lackey more than 16 years ago. He was arrested in 2005 and pleaded guilty to the charges in December. He was a juvenile at the time of the slaying and will be eligible for parole in 15 years.

The parole prevention task force, the first of its kind in Texas, has prepared a packet to try to convince a future parole board that Gordon ought to serve his 72-year term.

District Attorney John Bradley said he created the task force this year to try to keep violent offenders from being released early. Gordon’s is one of the first cases on which the task force has worked.

It seems like this is just DA Bradley trying to make sure there’s never a Willie Horton in Texas. Here’s a little more information on the Lackey case and what the other side has to say:

Lackey’s granddaughter, Williamson County Commissioner Lisa Birkman, said she likes the idea but was never contacted by the task force.

Some lawyers think the task force might not have the effect Bradley is hoping to achieve.

“In some respects, there may be a little bit of cruelty in this,” said Keith Hampton, a criminal defense lawyer. “A lot of people have moved on, and they don’t want to be reminded of something bad.”

Do we have a really bad problem with violent offenders getting paroled early in Texas? Or is this just a local DA trying to make a name for himself? (Please let me know in the comments.) And from the statement below It doesn’t seem possible that Mr. Gordon will be paroled anytime soon:

Gary Cohen, a criminal defense lawyer who represents offenders in the parole review process, said he does not think the task force’s packets will affect the parole board’s decisions because in most cases, violent offenders already must serve 85 percent of their sentences.

Mr. Gordon was convicted two years ago, he was 31 years old, and was sentenced to 72 years. He’s eligible for parole in 15 years but will, in reality, serve 85 percent of his sentence or 61 years, if my math is correct. Making him 92 when he’s paroled, if he lives that long. This just seems to be DA Bradley trying to make political hay out of a problem that doesn’t exist.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.