Soliah sprung after six years
posted at 7:50 am on March 21, 2008 by Ed Morrissey
Former SLA terrorist and murderer Kathleen Soliah walked out of prison this week after serving six years of a twelve-year sentence. She got time off for good behavior and must serve three years on parole, but the LAPD union has already objected, as likely will the family of Myrna Opsahl, who got killed in an armed robbery in which Soliah participated:
Kathleen Soliah, a former member of the radical Symbionese Liberation Army, was released on parole this week from a California women’s prison after serving about six years behind bars for her role in a plot to kill Los Angeles police officers by blowing up their patrol cars.
The white-haired convict, who has changed her name to Sara Jane Olson, had been sentenced to 12 years in prison. Like most California inmates, Soliah earned credit against her sentence for working while in prison. She served on a maintenance crew that swept and cleaned the main yard of the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla, prison officials said.
The 61-year-old Soliah, who was released Monday, must now serve a three-year parole, although prison officials declined to provide the conditions of her release. …
She “attempted to murder LAPD officers by bombing two police cars,” said Tim Sands, president of the Police Protective League, which represents the city’s 9,300 rank-and-file officers. “She needs to serve her full time in prison for these crimes and does not deserve time off for working in prison. Criminals who attempt to murder police officers should not be able to escape justice simply because they have good lawyers.”
She did more than that, and she has hardly appeared remorseful for her crimes. Her participation in the bank robbery in a Sacramento suburb that resulted in Opsahl’s shotgun death should have made her guilty of first-degree murder. She pled down to second-degree murder after her conviction on the domestic terrorism charges in Los Angeles, from which she had run 23 years earlier. She also entered into a plea bargain for those charges of bomb-planting, but then immediately claimed she was innocent.
After grandstanding in this manner for a couple of weeks, the judge threatened to revoke the plea agreement and have her stand trial for the charges and be eligible for the life sentence they could have produced — after which she changed her tune. After that, she quickly pled out the Opsahl murder, which shocked her supporters here in Minnesota, who trusted Soliah when she said she was innocent of any murder. The demonstrations here on Soliah’s behalf stopped after Soliah’s plea threw cold water on their Free Sara Jane movement.
Her attorneys claim that Soliah represents no threat to the community and never should have been imprisoned in the first place. They base that claim on the non-violent life she led after fleeing California and going into hiding. In other words, they wanted California to credit her with becoming a successful fugitive for over 20 years while Opsahl’s family mourned and waited for justice.
Hogwash. Six years for domestic terrorism and murder is a joke. This is a woman who murdered a bank employee simply because she got in the way of their “revolution” and who attempted to murder Los Angeles police officers. Soliah should have served her entire sentence, which was already too short. She had twenty-three years of freedom before facing her crimes, twenty-three years that she and her Symbionese Liberation Army cohorts denied Opsahl.
Update: IrishSpy writes to correct me on the location of the armed robbery. It took place in Carmichael, a suburb of Sacramento, and not Oakland. I’ve corrected the text above.