Five days after her release from prison, former Symbionese Liberation Army member Sarah Jane Olson was rearrested and sent back to prison on Saturday to serve one more year of her sentence. Prison department staff had concluded that a mistake had been made in figuring out when the ex-SLA member was eligible for parole.
Her criminal defense lawyer plans to fight this decision and cites pressure from the Los Angeles police officers’ union, rather than a calculation error, as the reason Olson is back behind bars.
California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the police union reject this accusation.
Olson’s real name is Kathleen Soliah. She was paroled on Monday after serving six years of the sentence that she received for pleading guilty to the second-degree murder of Myrna Opsahl while robbing a bank in Carmichael, California in the 1970’s. She also had entered a guilty plea for trying to bomb LAPD cars. She had planted pipe bombs under the car but the devices didn’t go off.
Olson lived as a fugitive for 24 years. She changed her name, got married, and had three children before she was arrested.
A California judge had initially sentenced Olson to five years and four months in prison because of 1975 sentencing laws. The state parole board, however, determined that she was a serious offender and changed her prison sentence to 13 years.
Olson was supposed to serve her parole in Minnesota with her family but was not permitted to board her flight from Los Angeles International Airport. After the error was identified, she was sent back to Chowchilla women’s prison.
According to prison officials, they forgot to add more time for the bank robbery and Carmichael’s murder, which now makes her eligible for parole after seven years instead of six.
Related Web Resources:
The Symbionese Liberation Army, CourtTV.com
Sara Jane Olson on Life in Prison, Talkleft.com
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