The Honorable Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

The Honorable Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

The Honorable Governor Jerry Brown

Attn: Jonathan Renner, Legal Affairs Secretary

c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173

Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: (916) 445-2841

Fax: (916) 558-3160


Dear Governor Brown,

I urge you to uphold the Board of Parole Hearings’ (“the Board”) decision to release Cynthia Feagin on parole. Penal Code §3041 governs the granting of parole. This statute establishes a presumption of parole suitability within subsection (a) which states the Board “shall normally set a parole date. . . after the inmate’s minimum eligible parole date.” It is estimated 1,000 or more cases on this subject have been filed in the State’s backlogged courts. The cost of this litigation to taxpayers is in the tens of million of dollars annually.

Cynthia has been incarcerated 20 years on her 18-years-to-life sentence. The Board is bound by California Code of Regulations, Title 15, § 2402 to deny parole if a life-term prisoner poses “an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety.” This is the fifth time that the Board has found that Ms. Feagin does not pose a safety risk. Cynthia accepts full responsibility for her actions. She shows sincere remorse for the crime she committed and the effect of her actions on the victim’s family and larger community. The mother of the victim publicly supports Cynthia’s release. A misguided adolescent at the time of the incident, Cynthia has worked hard to transform herself into a mature and responsible woman.

Emerging as a leader within the prison, Cynthia extends the support and guidance that she receives from her supporters to her peers. She has taken full advantage of the opportunities available to her at VSPW, earning an Associate Degree in Business and a California Department of Health certification as a final inspector optician. Since 2003, Cynthia has worked as a paralegal, and she recently became certified as a drug and alcohol counselor, which will enable her to gain immediate employment when she is released.

Cynthia is warm, humble, and a positive person, and is well respected by her peers and by correctional staff members, who have written numerous laudatory chronos in support of her release. I believe that it is very telling that those who have lived and worked with her on a daily basis – for almost two decades – speak so highly of her and affirm her suitability for parole.

Given Cynthia’s extensive remorse, personal growth, and accomplishments, it is clear that she poses no risk to public safety. I strongly believe that Ms. Feagin deserves to be released and urge you to uphold the Parole Board’s decision.





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