Three Striker - Liesl Hale

[Pronounced - Lee-sl]

Liesl Hale has been sent away for 25 to life, taken away from her children because of two priors in other states, and one in California. Another total abuse of the Three-Strikes law to enrich the Judge, give jobs to the District Attorney and Public Pretenders [Defenders so called]. Of course there are a few exceptions to this rule at the end Liesl had a good Attorney [see letter below], but for the most part the Shasta County Public Defenders defend no one, and just do what the District Attorneys want them to do, lay down and do nothing. Liesl went through a string of Attorneys, and I was in court one day on another case, and witnessed her firing one Attorney, and being appointed another, not sure how many she went through before Mr. William's gave his best effort, but it is 3 against one and one can get run over in the process. 

Now to the story of Liesl Hale, quoting from letters she wrote. Here is a rundown of her strike allegations. 

  • 1985 - Convicted in Arizona of 2 Burglary, Residential, given 3.75 years. 
  • 1986 - Convicted in Nevada of Burglary, Residential, given 2 years consecutive to Arizona sentence. 
  • 1988 - Convicted of 1 Burglary in California (w/667 ca) enhancement for Nevada case) given 11 years. 
The Arizona sentence/conviction may have been dropped the same way the same way a CRC# is. The Nevada case is for breaking a window and stealing a camera & tripod worth $224.00. My thought is that in California it would have been charged as vandalism & petty theft, so it's not serious or a strike. 

Her offenses with no strikes is worth tops 7 years. It is crazy as Liesl is a totally non-violent offender who hasn't been in trouble in 13-14 years. She got off parole in 13 months and discharge papers said, "Excellent Parole Period." Liesl says that the Three Strikes Law is so insane, beat someone to death and get 25 to life, kill your own child, 25 to life, and at one time her credit card fraud was 200 to life in the threats she received, and finally did receive 25 to life. 

Liesl has been arrested 3 times as an adult, the first time 3 months after she turned 18, and resulted in the 5 year 9 month combined total in Arizona & Nevada prisons. About 6 months after she got out, she caught the California case and got the 11 years, and got out in 1995 and has not even received a speeding ticket. Why is burglary a strikeable offense? The stupid things you did as a kid isn't what this law was intended to deal with. It was supposed to "take violent predators off our streets." Liesl stated "my sitting here is a waste of money--they've spent so much more keeping me here, taking care of my health (I'm a diabetic) and doing the court routine, the credit card bills could have been paid several times over. It's safer out there with me here?" 

Excerpts from letter of November 23, 2002: 

"I'm no angel. . .I think, more than anything, I screwed myself by refusing to play the intimidation game--I refused to plead guilty to charges they couldn't prove. Plus, the BEST 'deal' they offered was 14 years at 80%--and they pulled it PRIOR to the time they had agreed IN WRITING to hold it open! On & on it goes... I also can't believe that the Redding Record Searchlight is so willing to print WHATEVER the DA says--whether it is true or not. I was found NOT GUILTY of "unauthorized use of Personal Identification," and yet they said I was convicted of doing just that! Plus, they made it sound like I ripped off an old man! I ripped off a bank! Plus they wouldn't print the Attorney's rebuttal!" 

The entire case began with a lie! As her ex called the cops and said the credit card company called him and said "all 6 of the cards were maxed." This was not true as four of the cards were not maxed, and the credit card company didn't have that address/phone number. At sentencing the ex said they would never have reported the crime, if they had known this was going to happen. So much for the courts listening to what the "victims" have to say. 

As to prison life it is pretty bad. Liesl thinks the whole thing is designed to humiliate, degrade, dehumanize & demoralize us. With the exception of a select few, the staff are routinely rude, abusive and show callous disregard to both our needs & the safety of everyone including each other. There is no such thing as special diets--they just pile on the starch, salt, fat, etc. I have been on insulin for 5 years and try my absolute best to keep my diabetes under control. As of Friday--I'm no longer receiving insulin--nor any oral medication! I'm supposed to check my blood sugar 3x a week now--that's it! All because my blood work showed good results. I'm scared. I'm supposed to go back Weds. Hopefully they'll straighten it out. In the meantime all I've been eating is vegetables and a little meet--no carbohydrates (like milk, bread, etc.) I feel like hell, There's a lot more suffice it to say this place is a living nightmare. 

Excerpts from letter of May 15, 2003 

"I'm still having an incredible hard time dealing with my sentence--sometimes it's totally overwhelming. Plus, missing my children and trying to adjust/adapt to this environment. There is very little here of "prison" as I knew it before. The people here are hard, mean, angry, vicious, violent & just down-right cold. I finally got a fairly decent job. I'm the Captain's Clerk for D-yard. I moved to this yard for the job. . . Needless to say, I'm quickly learning how to swim with the sharks." 

Letter from the Law Office of Aaron Williams 

October 17, 2002 

Record Searchlight 
P.O. Box 492397 
Redding, CA 96049-2397 

Editor: On Tuesday, you ran an article on Liesl Hale being sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. The story was attributed to statements provided by Deputy District Attorney Brian Popkes. What the story failed to mention is that the District Attorney demanded a life sentence over the objections of the victims in the case; victims who pled with the District Attorney to give her no more than three years. Victim Frank Jones, whose name was falsely used during the credit card theft, stated that if he knew the District Attorney's office would be demanding life in prison, he never would have reported the crime. As it is, Ms. Hale, who is the mother of Frank Jones' twin four year grandchildren, will spend the rest of her life in prison, and her children will now grow up without their mother, over the wishes of everyone involved in the case. 

As a former prosecutor in the District Attorney's office I am very aware of McGregor Scott's standing policy of distributing news releases when they win a trial, while sweeping their losses under a rug. The policy is understandable as they run a political office. 

What is troubling however, are the increasing inaccuracies, omissions, and outright fabrications contained in the District Attorney's new releases, and the media dutifully reporting the government line without attempting to check whether they have been fed false and misleading information. 

In addition to omitting the fact that the victims were dead set against a life sentence in this case, the District Attorney omitted the fact that Ms. Hale cooperated fully with the investigation, giving investigators a taped statement as to who used the bogus credit cards, and relating her own involvement in the case. Rather than give Ms. Hale some leniency in this case in return for her complete cooperation, the government demanded their life sentence. The unfortunate message is that those suspected of crimes should never cooperate with the police, as the District Attorney will use your cooperation against you, seeking neither mercy nor justice. 

In an apparent effort to justify the life sentence in their press release, the District Attorney gave the mis-impression that Ms. Hale was the mastermind behind this credit card theft, not only using the bogus cards, but using the victims Social Security card number to order the cards herself. Unfortunately, the media apparently neglected to check the accuracy of the District Attorney's story against the court records, prior to reiterating it. A simple check of the verdicts would have revealed that the jury found Ms. Hale no guilty of the charge of being the mastermind that ordered the credit cards, finding her guilty simply of thefts, and on one occasion signing her name to a receipt which she was not entitled to sign. 

In the future the media would be wise to not take the District Attorneys statements at face value without first at least attempting to check whether they are true. The vast majority of those in government service are hones people. I am sorry if it comes as a surprise, however, that there are some bad apples in the government, who are willing to lie for their own political purposes. Unfortunately this has been the case in Shasta County where the District Attorney has steadfastly refused to tell "the whole truth and nothing but the truth," in destroying the hopes of both the victims and the children in this case. 

Sincerely, Attorney for Ms. Hale 

You can write to Liesl address below: 

Liesl now resides at: 

Liesl Hale 
VSPW /D1-08-01up 
P.O. Box 92 
Chowchilla, CA 93610-0092 

 Three Strikes Legal - Index