Precinct 333

Friday, July 30, 2004

Outrage -- Marine's Murderer Paroled

Marine Lance Cpl. Tarron Dixon survived his tour of duty in the Middle East during the Persian Gulf War. At age 23, he had served 5 years in the Marine Corps. He came home to his family in Houston on June 4, 1991.

And was murdered by a group of teenage white supremacist scum on June 6, 1991.

Now one of the killers is being released on parole, having served only 13 years of his life sentence. What is worse, Dixon's parents were denied the opportunity to speak at the parole hearing. Because nobody bothered to notify them that there was to be a parole hearing for Donald Riley.
Riley, 19 at the time of the shooting, had three drug-related convictions and was on parole when he and other Brazoria County teens came to Houston to, as Riley told police in 1991, "(expletive) with some niggers."

Riley, John Carrillo and Jorey Thomas were each convicted of murder and given life sentences. Carillo and Thomas will not become eligible for parole until 2009.

A fourth defendant, Robert Jason Folks, was convicted on a lesser charge.

But the Court of Criminal Appeals dismissed the deadly weapon finding that was part of Riley's conviction, meaning he had to serve only a quarter of his sentence — life sentences are called 60 years for parole purposes — before becoming eligible.

A quarter would have been 15 years, and Riley has served 13. "Good time," credit for good behavior in prison, made up the extra two years.

It shocks me that this has happened. It's time to contact Governor Rick Perry and flood him with calls over this miscarriage of justice. His online contact form is here. His telephone number is (512) 463-2000. He may be contacte by fax at (512) 463-1849. And his address is Governor Rick Perry, Office of the Governor, P.O. Box 12428, Austin, Texas 78711-2428.

Why am I making this an issue? Because this killer should have never seen the streets again. Because Cpl. Dixon's parents should have been able to fight this travesty of justice.

And because Tarron Dixon's daughter will turn thirteen before too long, and will never be paroled from the sentence of life without knowing her father.

UPDATE: According to the Houston Chronicle, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles will meet with Cpl. Dixon's family this week and reconsider their decision. This is in accordance with state law that mandates the board meet with victims and their families at any time before a parolee is released. It is to be hoped that they will change their decision. You can contact the board here.

Also, this little tidbit appears at the end of the story
Meanwhile, a hearing is set for Oct. 14 on a writ of habeas corpus filed by Riley's attorneys seeking to overturn his conviction based on newly discovered evidence they said indicates he did not commit the crime.

A substantial portion of that evidence was presented to the parole board before its vote, said attorney Bill Habern.

I'm betting the evidence is a fraud, and hoping he doesn't get a new tial. In the mean time, I'll hope for a revocation of the earlier parole decision.


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