MADERA COUNTY – With the man convicted of 21 counts of arson in the Yosemite Lakes Park area about to go before the Board of Parole Hearings, Madera County District Attorney, David A. Linn, says there “appears to be significant confusion” as to any pending release.
Kenneth Alan Jackson was convicted in 2014 and sentenced to 30 years in prison after being convicted for a string of fires in the YLP area.
D.A. Linn says he would like to clarify the current situation as to whether or not Jackson will be freed.
Mr. Jackson was convicted by Linn’s predecessor, Michael Keitz’s office following a lengthy trial in 2014. The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Sally Moreno.
The Jury found Jackson guilty on 21 counts of California Penal Code section 451(c) (arson of a structure or forest land). All the counts of which Jackson was convicted are considered “non-violent” and “non-serious” felonies.
In 2016, Proposition 57 was passed by the voters of California, and was intended to provide early parole to non-violent felons in California prisons. Although the rules for Prop 57 were not written when it was passed by the voters, says Linn, and have only been written in the past month or two, they are currently being adopted and are being reviewed during a public comment period until the middle of next month.
It now appears that in Madera County and others across the state, the Governor’s administration and the Department of Corrections are attempting to parole as many non-violent offenders as possible, says Linn.
Since Mr. Jackson was not convicted of a violent felony, he is eligible for early release.
Pursuant to a notice from the Board of Parole Hearings, the Board will conduct an administrative review to determine whether he should be released from prison. Any opposition to his release must be submitted through the Madera County District Attorney’s Office no later than the end of this month.
Linn is preparing an extensive letter argument and attaching letters from victims of the YLP fires. A large number of letters have been received via fax and email.
In order to provide an opportunity for all residents of YLP to express their views, District Attorney Linn, his Victim Services Specialist, and investigators will be present from 5 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 26, at 28464 Margaret Road in Yosemite Lakes Park.
This location is two blocks south of Yosemite Lakes Community Church. If you have trouble finding the location please call 559-683-4146 for directions after 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 26.
“Our office is doing everything possible to keep Jackson in state prison, ” says Linn.
For more information, please call Taguhi Bableyan, Victim Services Specialist, at 559-675-7726.