Every day we read about the crap that’s going on in America in our injustice system, with criminals having all the rights and innocent citizens being their prey – and not much has incensed me more than the parole of Frederick Newhall Woods.
I am a true crime junkie and have watched documentaries about what he did and listened to podcasts about this crime in which he, along with his two brothers, commandeered a school bus at gunpoint with 26 kids and the bus driver inside. The criminals transferred everyone to a box truck and buried the kids and bus driver in an attempt to get $5 million in ransom money. The children were ages five to 14.
According to the Daily Mail, prosecutors called this “the largest mass kidnapping in U.S. history.” It happened in 1976 and is called the “Chowchilla Kidnapping.”
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This man is true evil. The fact that no one died isn’t because anything the criminals did. They didn’t go back and save them or make sure they didn’t all die in that box truck. The only reason the victims are alive today is because after 16 hours underground, the children and the driver were able to dig themselves out and escape.
The victims had stacked mattresses so they could reach the opening at the top of the truck which was covered with heavy metal but the bus driver and an older boy were able to wedge the lid open and dig out the remainder of the debris.
And now this evil 70-year-old kidnapper gets to be free while the victims (and their family members) get to spend the rest of their lives agonizing over what he put them through, having flashbacks and nightmares and having to deal with PTSD.
The problem is that the three brothers got life with the possibility of parole instead of being executed. The punishment did NOT fit the crime.
Brothers James and Richard were paroled in 2015 with little fanfare but now that the last convict was recommended to be released for parole in March, at least some are taking notice in the media – not that anything can be done at this point.
Originally, the three men had been sentenced to life without parole but the convictions of bodily harm were overturned by an appellate court that found the physical injuries of the children (cuts and bruises) did not meet the standard for bodily harm under the law.
Never mind that the three men left them all for dead and to suffer emotional trauma for the rest of their lives.
Woods had been denied parole 19 times, with the parole boards citing minimization of his crime and infractions in jail including possessing porn and cell phones as well as trying to run several businesses from within the jail.
Nevertheless, in March of 2022, two commissioners recommended him for parole and on August 17th, it was granted.
They say that Woods is no longer a danger to society. I say he is. That kind of evil can not be “rehabbed.” And even if he’s a docile old man who won’t do anyone any further harm, he still deserves to rot in prison for what he did. It’s called justice – which this country is currently lacking.
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