The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office says three criminals it describes as “dangerous” are about to be released due to voter approved proposition 57, and that the State Board Of Parole Hearings has made serious miscalculations in it’s decision to turn the trio loose. They are James Robert Walden, Ralph Zapata Ramos, and Susana Lua Lemus, According to the District Attorney’s Office,
Walden was convicted in 2014 of Residential Burglary, a “Serious” Felony by law, and Felon in Possession of a Firearm. In spite of these being his 10th & 11th felony convictions and his having four prior serious felony convictions or “Strikes”, Judge Wayne Ellison struck all four “Strike” priors and sentenced the defendant to the minimum of 22 years in prison instead of 51 years to Life. According to the Fresno County DA The State Parole Board based it’s decision on the following criteria. Walden’s criminal history began in 1996. The D.A. states that is incorrect, and that Walden began committing crimes back in 1991. The State Parole Board says Walden has only six prior felonies. The D.A.’s office states that Walden has actually committed nine felonies.
Ralph Zapata Ramos was convicted by a jury trial in 2007 of Residential Burglary while a Resident was Present, a “Violent” Felony by law. In spite of this being his 8th felony conviction and having two prior serious felony convictions or “Strikes”, Judge Carlos Cabrera struck one “Strike” prior, the enhancement that made the conviction a violentfelony and two other enhancements. Judge Cabrera sentenced the defendant to 14 years inprison instead of 33 years to Life. Striking the violent felony enhancement made the defendant eligible for this early release, according to the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office. The D.A.’s Office states that the State Parole Board gave the following rationale for Ramos’ early release, “”The residential daytime burglary for property gain is counter intuitive for violence”. The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office says the State Parole Board made another error in calculating the number of felonies committed by Ramos, saying he had been convicted of six felonies. The D.A.’s Office says Ramos has actually been convicted of seven felonies.
According to the District Attorney’s Office Susana Lua Lemus was convicted in 2015 of Residential Burglary, a “Serious” Felony bylaw and Felony Grand Theft. In spite of the defendant having a prior serious felony conviction for Assault with a Deadly Weapon in 2008, Judge Ralph Nunez struck the “Strike” prior and sentenced the defendant to the minimum term of 7 years in prison instead of 17 years. The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office says that again the State Parole Board’s reasons for early release is riddled with errors. The state board states in it’s decision that Lemus began her criminal career in 2012. According to the Fresno County D.A. Lemus actually began her criminal activities back in 2000. According to the D.A. The state Parole Board issued a statement that Lemus has no prior felony record. The D.A.’s office says that Lemus has in fact been convicted of three felonies, including assault with a deadly weapon.
The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office says that so far seven prison inmates from Fresno County have been released due to Proposition 57, and that many more paroles are expected. The State Parole Board will not notify victims of those being released from prison if they have registered with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.