1/13/2013 - California Paroled after murdering two girls, kills mother decades later Dennis Stanworth is a member of the notorious class of '72.
All three of those cases involved Bay Area slayings.
Police say Stanworth called them Wednesday and admitted to killing his 90-year-old mother in his Vallejo home about two months earlier.
Her body was found outside the house, a prosecutor said.
Now 70 and appearing frail, Stanworth came to a hearing Friday in Solano County Superior Court in a wheelchair and exclaimed: "It's the third time," and "I plead guilty to everything." No formal plea, however, was entered as his defense attorney requested a week delay.
Victim advocates are fuming that Stanworth was paroled in 1990 despite having a horrific rap sheet. Stanworth would never have been paroled today, according to Stanford University law professor Robert Weisberg, who tracks criminal justice trends and who calls this case is an anomaly.
Almost 40 percent of the 107 death row inmates in the class of '72 had been released on parole, according to a 2003 Contra Costa Times article analyzing Department of Corrections data.
About a third of those released committed new crimes.
That rate was far lower than the 65 percent, three-year recidivism rate for all parolees released from prison during 2006-07, the most current figures from the Department of Corrections.
In the class of '72, as of 2003, 42 people have been paroled and 24 died in prison.
Of the 42 released, 12 had been charged with or convicted of new crimes.
The Times' 2003 analysis also looked at the class of '76, consisting of 67 people on death row who got life sentences after the state's second capital punishment law was again ruled unconstitutional in 1976.