A California board has denied medical parole to a convicted rapist who has been a quadriplegic since he was attacked in prison 10 years ago, arguing that the inmate’s verbal threats in prison to female staffers proves he would still pose a threat to public safety if he were to be released, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Steven Martinez, 42, was the first inmate to be considered for medical parole under new law aimed at saving taxpayers the expense of providing medical care and security to incapacitated inmates.
Inmates who are “permanently medically incapacitated with a medical condition” that makes them “unable to perform activities of basic daily living” may be released if they do not pose a threat to public safety. A two-person panel of the State Board of Parole Hearings cited Martinez’s lengthy disciplinary record, including threats to nurses and other prison staff members. “This panel finds that he is a violent person who can use other people to carry out threats and would be a public safety threat to those attending to him outside prison walls,” said Commissioner John Peck.