With three-striker Stevan Dozier's release yesterday from prison, the question is: Who's next? When King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg (left) revealed his support for Dozier's clemency petition, he said that it would be a kind of test case for Satterberg's review of early three-strikes cases handled by the prosecutor's office under his predecessor, the late Norm Maleng. (Under three-strikes, defendants are given life without patrol after committing three crimes in certain categories). Satterberg confirms that he is, in fact, supporting clemency petitions of two more three-strikers: Alkareem Shadeed and Michael Bridges.
Both men are scheduled for hearings before the Washington State Clemency and Pardons Board in June, according to attorney Jeff Ellis, who represents Dozier and has worked with Satterberg on finding pro bono attorneys for other clemency petitions of three-strikers. Both men "struck out" on second-degree robbery--the least serious of offenses that count as a strike.
According to news reports at the time, Shadeed's third-strike crime was an attempt to pilfer the wallet of a Garfield High School teacher named Craig MacGowan. Shadeed got life in 1994 even though MacGowan asserted passionately in court that he wanted no such thing. "We aren't willing to do enough for kids like this when they are young and we have a chance to make a different, but we're willing to throw them away in prison for ten times the cost," the Seattle Times reported MacGown as saying. Bridges also struck out after trying, and failing, to pick someone's wallet.
After his initial review of three-strikes cases, Satterberg identified several defendants--including Dozier, Shadeed and MacGown--whom he might support in clemency proceedings, according to Ellis. Whether Satterberg proceeds with more might hang both on Dozier's conduct in the outside world as well as how the next batch of clemency petitions go.