Infamous former SLA member “accidentally” released from prison, back in custody

Earlier this week Sara Jane Olson was released from prison after serving only half of a 14 year sentence for attempting to blow up LAPD cruisers in the mid-1970s. At the time of the crime, Olson was better known under her birth name of Kathleen Soliah, a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army. The SLA the same group that had allegedly kidnapped and brainwashed Patty Hearst.

Olsen evaded capture, disappearing for nearly 30 years while living under the name Sara Jane Olsen in a Minnesota town. She got married, had kids, and to her neighbors was an everyday soccer mom until the Feds finally tracked her down and arrested her in 1999. She was convicted and sentenced to 14 years in prison.

On Monday, she was released. Almost immediately, the LAPD bawked. And then things became curious.

Last night, Olson was arrested at LAX as she was about to board a flight to her adopted home in Minnesota. The police said she was breaking terms of her parole. Her attorney says that her parole officer permitted her to travel to see her family.

Complicating matters, the Correction Department is now saying that her early release was actually an “administrative error,” and that she needs to remain in prison for another year.

Chief Deputy Secretary Scott Kernan said Saturday an outcry that followed Olson’s release spurred a thorough review of her parole and a 2004 miscalculation was discovered that resulted in her release a year too early. [LA Times]

Adminstrative error releasing a very high profile inmate? Or is the prison system bowing to pressure from the police? What do you think?

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