Victim Stories: Emily Shane - Gascon Must Go
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Victim Stories: Emily Shane

On April 3, 2010, Sina Khankhanian intentionally drove at high speeds (70 mph +) to hit and kill 13-year-old Emily Shane. His actions robbed Emily’s family of their innocent, young daughter and resulted in unimaginable grief. Khankhanian was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to a minimum of 15 years to life. After serving just ten years, Emily’s parents were faced with a first hearing for him to be granted early parole. A second hearing followed a year later, and a third is now slated for October.

Compounding their trauma, District Attorney George Gascon’s policies deny them the right to a prosecutor’s guidance and support during these agonizing hearings. The system’s callous disregard for victims’ rights keeps Emily’s parents in the dark regarding these parole board hearings, causing them undue pain. We must stand with Emily’s family and demand Gascon reverse his cruel policies. Victims’ families deserve justice, compassion, and a prosecutor’s support. Anything less is a shameful betrayal of those who have already suffered the most unimaginable loss.

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.

To learn about The Emily Shane Foundation, click here