Law Signed by Jerry Brown Gives Murderer Parole

A legislative measure signed into law in 2017 by then-governor Jerry Brown has resulted in the parole of a Monterey County drug dealer who killed a young woman in 1989 to prevent her testimony in a case implicating him in an earlier double-homicide.  To make  sure she would not survive, Bradly Hardison, then 25, shot 23-year-old Sonjii Johnson five to six times in the upper body with a .357 magnum, while she was sitting in a car in front of her parent’s home.  One of the bullets passed through Johnson and lodged in her younger brother’s spine, but he survived.  Tom Wright of the Monterey Herald reports that the state Board of Parole has granted parole to Hardison, who, in 1990, pleaded guilty to the murder to avoid the possibility of receiving the death penalty.  The plea deal resulted in Hardison receiving a sentence of 25-to-life prison plus six additional years for the use of a gun and assault on Johnson’s brother as detailed in this 2003 District Court decision.

The law, AB-1308, signed by Brown in 2017, automatically makes murderers and other violent criminals sentenced to life who were under 26 years old when they committed their crimes, eligible for parole after serving 25 years.   “She was my daughter,” the victim’s mother told the Parole Board.  “Sonjii believed in telling the truth because she was taught this as a child growing up.  The last time I saw my daughter alive was early that morning.  I still feel like something has been ripped out of me.”

A psychologist reported to the board that Hardison presents a statistically low risk for recidivism, if released.

So what.  The 23-year-old girl he killed remains 100% dead.  She was killed because Hardison was involved in two other murders that she knew about.  Automatic parole for a killer like him is both stupid and unjust.