Man in prison for 20-year-old hate crime up for parole -- again

John Buice was denied parole on Friday.

September 5, 2012 4:38:59 PM PDT
A mother faces a parole board again, trying to make sure one of her son's killers remains in prison. Her son was beaten to death by a group of teenagers just because he was gay.

The attack happened outside a Montrose area night club 20 one years ago, and the victim's mother has to relive the case over and over again, every time the parole board considers it.

Jon Buice is the last of 27-year-old Paul Broussard's killers left in prison. He's served less than half of his 45 year sentence.

On July 4, 1991, Broussard was outside a Montrose night club when 10 teenagers -- looking for gay men to beat up -- found him, and beat him to death.

"You had 10 people who decided they wanted to go on a spree and they took a 2x4 with nails in it and beat Paul with it. They took a buck knife and stabbed him twice," said Noel Freeman, president of the GLBT Political Caucus.

Buice was the admitted stabber and is the last of the 10 men still behind bars for Broussard's death. Buice received 45 years in prison but after serving just 18, he's up for parole -- again.

"When you commit a brutal murder like this -- like they say, you do the crime, you do the time," Broussard's mother, Nancy Rodriguez said.

Just last year, Buice was granted parole, but based on evidence that remains confidential, the board reversed its decision. Now, Buice has another shot at freedom, and just like last year, Rodriguez is asking them not to free her son's killer.

"To me, I don't know if you call it a sociopath or a psychopath, he has no conscience or emotions or feelings that you would actually do something like that," she said.

Texas parole board members have the power to delay a violent offenders' parole hearing for up to five years but they do so in just 1 percent of cases. Victims Advocate Andy Kahan has asked the agency that oversees the parole board to widen the range from 1 to 5 years to 1 to 15 to encourage longer breaks for people like Rodriguez.

"Why aren't we utilizing longer set-offs for violent offenders?" Kahan said. "We're talking about your murderers, your rapists, kidnappers, people who've committed violent, diabolical, cold-blooded, violent crimes."

"The parole board needs somebody to give them a good swift kick," Rodriguez said.

More than that, Rodriguez wants Buice to serve at least 27 years of his 45-year sentence, because that's the number of years her son was allowed to live.

"To let him out so early, it doesn't make sense to me," she said.

Changes could be coming to the parole board rules. The commission that makes recommendations to lawmakers convened in Austin on Wednesday. They're considering plans to allow the parole board to schedule parole hearings for violent offenders every one to 15 years.

Another change would require timely notice to be given to victims' families when a prisoner is being paroled.


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