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In 1972 (Antioch, California), Phillip Garrido drugged and raped a 14 year old girl in Contra Costa County. In June, 1976 (South Lake Tahoe, California), Phillip Garrido talked his 19 year old victim into his car, then handcuffed her
and raped her. On November 22, 1976, at approximately 6:30 pm (South Lake Tahoe, California), Phillip Garrido talked his 25 year old victim into giving him a ride and put a handcuff on one of her wrists. Luckily, she jumped out of the car, alerting neighbors, and escaped. One hour later that same
day in South Lake Tahoe, Phillip Garrido talked another victim into his car, kidnapped her, took her to a storage shed in Reno, and sexually assaulted her. In 1977 Phillip Garrido was sentenced to 50 years in prison for that crime.
In 1988, Phillip Garrido was released early from prison after only serving 11 years of his 50 year sentence. The parole board noted at the time that Garrido could be certified “as not contributing to menace to health, safety and morals of society.” A few months later, Phillip Garrido visited his last victim who
was still working up in South Lake Tahoe – telling her “it’s been 11 years since I had a drink.” The victim was shocked to find that he was released from prison 39 years early and immediately reported it to Garrido’s Parole Agent – who responded by noting in his file “to subject [Phillip Garrido] to
electronic monitoring would be too much of a hassle based on the hysteria, or concerns of the victim …”
From 1988 until 1991, Phillip Garrido stalked children at parks and neighborhoods … just waiting for his chance.
On June 10, 1991, he found his next victim - 11 year old Jaycee
Lee Dugard - who was kidnapped from South Lake Tahoe and taken to Antioch, where she was sexually assaulted and imprisoned for the next 18 years.
On August 26, 2009, Jaycee was finally discovered. Two days later, Phillip Garrido was charged with multiple felony counts of kidnap and rape. On June 2, 2011, Phillip Garrido pled guilty and was sentenced to 431 years in prison to life. Under the law in 2011, this meant that Phillip Garrido was ineligible for
parole until the year 2440 – 431 years from the date he was arrested.
However, on May 25, 2016, the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office was given notice by the California Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) that Phillip Garrido was now eligible for parole on August 26, 2034. How is this possible?
It is possible due to the misguided efforts of Governor
Brown and the California Legislature along with their apparent desire to release more and more prisoners back to the streets of our communities. The little known law that allows Phillip Garrido to reduce his sentence by 406
years is called the “Elderly Parole Program.” Thus, Phillip Garrido could be back on the streets of California after only serving 18 more years of a 431 to life sentence. The efforts of Governor Brown and the California Legislature are not limited to only helping provide for the early release of
offenders like Phillip Garrido.
Further, this November, Proposition
57 will be on the California ballot. Governor Brown has noted in his support of the initiative that it “invests in proven public safety strategies that work”, “saves taxpayers dollars by reducing wasteful spending within our corrections
system”, and “keeps the most dangerous offenders locked up.” The proposed law can be found at
The California District Attorneys Association (CDAA), who strongly opposes the bill, noted in its’ analysis of the initiative, that it would drastically change California sentencing laws by ignoring sentencing enhancements for use of a deadly weapon,
gang crimes, prior prison terms, and would reduce prison time for those who committed multiple crimes and allow broad authority to release murderers and rapists early. The CDAA analysis also finds that Proposition 57 would significantly undermine more than four decades of criminal justice laws and
policies approved by California voters that were designed to enhance public safety and protect the rights of crime victims. The CDAA analysis states, “The proposal conflicts with other constitutional and legislative provisions, including the use of enhancements mandated by The Victims’ Bill of Rights
(Proposition 8), the truth-in-sentencing provisions of Marsy’s Law, the treatment of serious juvenile offenders provided in Proposition 21, the human trafficking laws, and the Three Strikes law.”
We urge the citizens of California to look beyond the title of the proposed law and see what it actually says and means. Read the law. It will, under either sides analysis, lead to the early release of prisoners. Early release of violent criminals from prison has proven to be a bad idea time and again.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” - George Santayana
To see Part I of this series, please visit our blog at
Part 3 in this series will focus on the discovery of Jaycee Dugard and the criminal case.
Part 4 in this series will focus on unanswered questions and lessons learned about the case and investigation.