Texas, the law-and-order state, has some of the harshest criminal codes anywhere. But if you’re only 17, and you kill someone and then spend two decades in jail obtaining college degrees, you will apparently be released. Or maybe it’s only if you kill a queer?
On July 4, 1991, Jon Buice and nine other male teens drove from a northern Houston suburb to the heavily gay area of Montrose to, as one of the teens put it, “beat up some queers.” Buice and pals beat and stabbed 27-year-old gay man, Paul Broussard, to death. Broussard had been at the gay bar Heaven. Buice later turned himself in after being encouraged by his father to do so.
In 2007 he was denied parole but now, after serving 20 of the 45 year sentence, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has voted for his release noting “Mr. Buice has completed several college degrees and numerous other vocational type courses during his incarceration…Mr. Buice was only 17 years of age at the time of the Instant Offense. Additionally, Mr. Buice will have the following Special Conditions upon release: Maximum level of Supervision; Substance Abuse Treatment; Electronic Monitoring; and No contact with Victim.”
The last of which seems rather difficult, since the victim is dead.
Last month, Broussard’s mother, pleaded with the parole board stating that Buice should at least spend a total of 27 years in jail, as that was the age of her son when Buice murdered him on the 4th of July.