California killer dies in prison before 'compassionate release'
A convicted murderer who had been granted “compassionate release” to spend his final days with his family died just before he was to be set free, news outlets reported Monday.
The court order for the release of Carl Wade, 66, was issued Tuesday, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, but Wade died at 3:20 a.m. Thursday at the state prison in Vacaville. He was serving a sentence of 32 years to life for the June 1986 shooting of a woodcutter with whom he had shared a trailer home, the paper reported.
Wade, who was unable to breathe without continuous streams of oxygen, was classified as terminally ill last summer, the Chronicle reported, and the parole board had recommended him for release. But a Lake County judge blocked the inmate’s release before an appeals court overruled the decision May 17.
Compassionate release under state law allows an inmate whose death is imminent and who posts no danger to the public to be released from prison. He was scheduled to rejoin his family in Chico, the Associated Press reported.
Wade's lawyer, L. Richard Braucher, told the Chronicle he had spoken to his client last week, and he was “very happy about coming home.”
“He should have been released in November,” Braucher told the paper. “The system did not deliver justice to him.”
-- Matt Stevens