After California Prison Error, Sara Jane Olson Back Behind Bars


Sara Jane Olson’s taste of freedom was short-lived, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. A few days after being told she could serve her parole in Minnesota, Olson, 61, is back in a California prison, where she’ll stay for almost another year. California Corrections Department officials said criticism of Olson’s release spurred a review of her case. That review showed that her parole date had been miscalculated — she was not supposed to be released until March 17, 2009. The mistake was made in 2004.

Los Angeles police union officials had sharply criticized the release of Olson, a former Symbionese Liberation Army member, after she served six years for her role in the attempted bombing of police cars in 1975 and a deadly bank robbery. Olson’s attorney, David Nickerson, said the return to prison “is entirely a result of police pressure. “This is like the Gestapo picking up somebody off the street.” He plans to challenge the decision on the grounds that Olson, having been placed on parole, can’t be taken back into custody unless she violates the terms of her parole or commits a crime. A California corrections official called the case “extremely complicated, given the amount of changes to the sentencing laws that have occurred over the last 30 years.”


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