‘Mandatory Release’ law lets murderers return to the streets
They are some of the worst killers Texas has ever seen. And because of an old law, some of them are about to come back home, and possibly to a neighborhood near you.
That law is the old mandatory release law, which was created in the 70's to ease overcrowding. That means killers like David Port, who murdered postal worker Debora Schatz in 1984, is getting out next year. Her mother, Barbara Schatz, told KTRH she can't believe it.
“It upsets me. I’m not through investigating. I’m going to see what can be done about this,” Schatz told KTRH. “I would like to see him stay in jail the rest of his life. Debora is gone. I don’t get to see her or talk to her anymore.”
Schatz is trying her luck with Attorney General Greg Abbott, but Harry Badsen of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles says that won't get results.
“If the individual is eligible for mandatory supervision release then the board has no power to review it,” Badsen told KTRH.
The mandatory release law was repealed in the 1990's but the US Supreme Court said the change could not be retroactive, which means Port will be out of jail next June. Victims Advocate Andy Kahan says it's upsetting.
“It’s disheartening. You’ve got some of the most cold blooded in this state’s history that will be legally released,” Kahan told KTRH.
Some of these killers have re-offended. Marcus Cotton killed Fort Bend prosecutor Gil Epstein in 1996 just months after his release on an attempted murder conviction.