Within less than a twenty-four hour period since yesterday, another ten-thousand people signed the Austin Vantrease anti-parole petition. It is now over 42,000! For now, the signatures just keep on coming so who knows where it will wind-up after the push fades? I’d love it if it hit fifty-thousand by the end of the day, but that is probably a bit ambitious. The key to reaching this threshold is for you to share this post through social media.
Simple and to the point, this is how the petition reads:
To: West Virginia Parole BoardDeny Parole to Austin VantreaseWe, the undersigned, affirm our deep concern for criminal justice and public safety.Specifically, we petition the West Virginia Parole Board to flatly deny any, and all, parole attempts of violent offender Austin Vantrease [Inmate #: 51398-2]. We wish to keep this felon in prison for the maximum time allowable.
For your part, it takes only a minute (if that) to show your support.
What I know, because the Parole Board told me and it is written on their website, is community sentiment is a significant cause is determining an inmate’s parole. It’s not the only factor, but it’s a biggie. This petition adequately shows that society does not want him released any time soon. In fact, they want Austin Vantrease to sit in prison (now at the Huttonsville Correction Center, which houses maximum security inmates) for as long as possible under the law. I’d say that’s fair for someone who attacked an incapacitated person “like he was punting a football” (as stated in criminal trial testimony) to serve the maximum. Even if the maximum is not enough…
In my opinion.
Vantrease’s next parole hearing is scheduled for this upcoming summer. July to be exact. He gets a crack at being release each-and-every year. That means that every year I must travel five hours to the prison and make a victim impact statement on behalf of my son.
My skin crawls having to look at him and his family. What can I say? I just don’t like them. I swear, I think they just don’t seem to get it. Anyhow, his first attempt was last year (August 2012), but he was flatly denied. It seemed to me that the Parole Board was a bit irritated that he even tried, given his conduct in prison.
You can read my four-part account of last year’s hearing by starting here.