[Ppnews] Sara Jane Olson back in prison

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Sun Mar 23 01:26:19 EDT 2008

Hearst gang woman back in prison

Olson wasn't brought to trial for almost a quarter of a century
A member of a radical US 1970s group has been returned to jail, less than
a week after being released on parole.
Sarah Jane Olson was freed on Monday after seven years in jail for
attempted bombings and second-degree murder during a campaign in 1975.

But officials found an "administrative error", and realised she still had
one more year to serve before being freed.

Olson's lawyer said the California prison authorities were "bowing to
political pressure".

Olson, 61, will not now be eligible for parole until March 2009.

Formerly known as Kathleen Soliah, she was a member of the militant
Symbionese Liberation Army.

The group became famous for kidnapping newspaper heiress Patty Hearst in

Olson then went on the run for almost a quarter of a century, marrying and
living undetected in Minnesota.

Release criticised

After a tip-off, she was arrested in 1999 and in 2001 she was foudning
guilty of attempted bombings. In 2003 she also pleaded guilty to
second-degree murder in the death of bank customer in a 1975 robbery near

In all, she was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Her early release brought protests from a Los Angeles police officers union.

On Friday, she was detained at Los Angeles airport, as she was about to
fly to Minnesota. She had informed her parole officer about the journey.

She will now be returned to the same prison from which she released
earlier in the week.

Officials said that the error in her release date was because of a failure
to factor the second sentence in her parole calculations.

But Olson's lawyer said that was "ridiculous".

"We received an order from the state parole board more than a month ago
informing us that she would be released on 17 March," said Shawn Chapman
Holley said.

"The idea that suddenly they discovered an error is untrue," she added.
"As far as we're concerned they're bowing to political pressure and they
are wrong."

The Symbionese Liberation Army formed in Berkeley, California in the
1970s, committed to fighting against what it said was an oppressive
governmental regime.

The group carried out a series of bombings, murders and robberies before
most of its members were killed in a dramatic fire in 1974 after a gun
battle with Los Angeles police.

Claude Marks
Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977

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