Jon Buice, who had been awarded a controversial parole after serving time for his role in the gay-bashing death of Paul Broussard, will not be a free man after all.
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles today reversed its earlier decision granting Buice parole in less than half of his 45-year murder sentence, saying it had received "much additional information...including information that was new."
Montrose residents protested the decision, as had several local politicians.
One of them was State Rep Garnet Coleman, who called the reversal "the right thing to do."
Paul was deliberately targeted because of his sexual orientation and was a victim of a hate crime -- even if the law didn't define it as such at that time. Jon Buice and his accomplices not only brutally murdered someone, they also sought to inflict fear upon an entire community.
Thanks to the vigilance of the victim's mother, Ms. Nancy Rodriguez, and the action taken by the many supporters around the state and nation, the Board of Pardons and Paroles withdrew the decision to parole Jon Buice. This is the right thing to do and I applaud their decision.
Last week I joined Senators Ellis, Gallegos, and Whitmire at the dedication of the Montrose Remembrance Garden, in honor of Paul Broussard and other victims of hate crimes. I am proud to have worked with them and other colleagues, such as Rep. Jessica Farrar, on this issue. I've been involved in this fight since 1994 when the first of the offenders became eligible for parole.
Buice's pardon had been supported by longtime gay-rights activist Ray Hill, who said Buice had been rehabilitated in prison.
The parole board's statement:
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.