Close  

Pemberton’s early release sought

Lawyer says US serviceman convicted of transgender’s murder should walk free for ‘good conduct’ credits

OLONGAPO CITY — US Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton, who was convicted for killing a transgender woman here in 2014, should have been released from prison on July 31 after serving more than half of 10 years of his sentence “with good behavior,” his counsel said.

Lawyer Rowena Garcia-Flores filed an urgent motion before Judge Roline Ginez-Jabalde of the Regional Trial Court Branch 74 here to immediately release Pemberton, disputing a Bureau of Corrections’ (BuCor) computation of the actual jail time her client had served.

ADVERTISEMENT

Jabalde sentenced Pemberton to six to 10 years in prison for killing Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude in a motel here on Oct. 11, 2014.

According to the BuCor, Pemberton had already served eight years and 10 months. But Flores said the BuCor failed to give Pemberton good conduct time allowances (GCTA) for over a year from Oct. 22, 2014, to November 2015.

FEATURED STORIES

GCTA is a sentence reduction provision given to prisoners who show good behavior while serving their jail term.

Flores said Pemberton was also not given GCTA credits for the actual time he served from Oct. 22 to Dec. 18 in 2014, and for June and July this year.

Joseph Scott Pemberton —PHOTO FROM PEMBERTON’S FACEBOOK ACCOUNT

Constitutional guarantee

In a four-page motion filed on Aug. 1, Flores said releasing Pemberton beyond July 31 “would [violate] the constitutional guarantee that no person shall be deprived of liberty without due process of law.”

Since his conviction, Pemberton has been detained in a special military jail at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

Jabalde had already ordered the BuCor to review its computation of the jail term that Pemberton had already served.

But the lawyer of the Laude family said they would oppose the early release of Pemberton.

“This is the first time that ‘good conduct’ is being claimed by a US soldier, [who] is not serving his sentence at the [national penitentiary] and who is privileged and in a solitary confinement,” said lawyer Virginia Lacsa-Suarez.

ADVERTISEMENT

According to Suarez, Pemberton’s camp counted even the time he was temporarily held at the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu pending a police investigation of Laude’s killing.

“Pemberton does not deserve full credit for alleged good conduct. His conduct was never put to test as he was living comfortably in his specially made cell,” she said.

Suarez said good conduct should only be measured by how a convict “relates with other convicts he is living with in the same cell.”

“Pemberton, who lives comfortably and only his liberty is restricted—cannot reasonably and justifiably claim good conduct,” she said.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Freedom, GCTA, Jeffrey "Jennifer" Laude, Joseph Scott Pemberton, Olongapo, Prison, sentence, transgender woman, US Marine
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.