Pemberton opposes appeal vs his release

Convicted killer US marine Joseph Scott Pemberton opposed the appeal of the family of his victim to stop his early release for good conduct.

In six-page opposition, he said the family of his victim had failed to prove that he was not entitled to an early release.

“The Bureau of Corrections certification of good conduct carries with it the presumption of regularity that the private complainant failed to rebut,” Mr. Pemberton said through his lawyer.

“The private complainant’s speculative and personal opinion of what ought to constitute good conduct cannot overcome such presumption,” he added.

He said he should not be treated differently from other convicts who had benefited from the law on time credits.

Mr. Pemberton also said he was neither convicted of a heinous crime nor was he a recidivist, habitual delinquent and escapee who was disqualified for time credit.

An Olongapo trial court convicted Mr. Pemberton for homicide in 2015 in a case that had ignited anti-American sentiment in the former US colony. The court sentenced him to six to 10 years in jail.

Mr. Pemberton could have faced a life sentence had the judge granted prosecutors’ request for a murder conviction. The court cited mitigating circumstances, saying Mr. Pemberton was drunk and got confused after discovering that the person he had hired for sex was male.

Jeffrey Laude, a 26-year-old male sex worker who identified as a woman, was found strangled in October 2014 in a motel.

The court on Tuesday ordered Mr. Pemberton’s release for good conduct.

Justice Undersecretary Markk L. Perete on Thursday said the American soldier would remain detained pending the appeal of the family’s victims.

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said the agency would separately appeal Mr. Pemberton’s release next week. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas

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