Victim Stories: Donna and Richard Landau - Gascon Must Go
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Victim Stories: Donna and Richard Landau

Donna and Richard Landau photo

In January 1996, defendant Antwone Allison and his cousin Rickey Smith murdered Richard and Donna Landau. Allison entered their Chatsworth home armed with a loaded gun, wearing a ski mask and gloves. Allison pointed the gun at head of their 15-year-old son, Jonathan. Allison told Smith to bind the Landaus’ hands and cover their eyes with duct tape. With Allison standing guard with the gun, Smith put a plastic grocery bag over Donna’s head and secured it with duct tape around her neck. When Smith then tried to put a plastic bag over Richard’s head. Richard resisted and was shot. Donna and Jonathan were also both shot. Richard and Donna died. Jonathan pretended to be dead. Allison was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder, assault with a firearm, residential burglary, and robbery and sentenced to 54 years to life. Because of youthful parole, he was entitled to a parole hearing after 25 years. Gascon abandoned Jonathan and his older brother as they sought to represent their parents at two parole hearings. What Allison demonstrated at his last parole hearing was his continued lack of candor and a severe lack of insight regarding the life crime. The grant rate when prosecutors to participate is 8% higher and Allison has now been paroled to Los Angeles County. He is 45 years old, older than Donna and Richard were when he murdered them.

Defendants who have been convicted of murder or violent sex crimes are often sentenced to “Life.” Before a defendant who was sentenced to life can be released, there is a parole hearing to determine if the defendant still poses an unreasonable risk to public safety. Prosecutors from the county where the crime occurred attend and participate in parole hearings. Victims and families of murdered loved ones have an absolute right to attend the parole hearing. Inmates are provided an attorney, but Gascon does not allow prosecutors to attend parole hearings, so victims from Los Angeles County must attend these parole hearings alone. When prosecutors don’t participate in parole hearings, the parole grant rate is 8% higher. Because of youthful parole (Penal Code 3051) and elder parole (Penal Code 3055) most people are eligible for parole after only 20-25 years in prison unless they have a prior strike conviction or are convicted of Special Circumstances.