“California Justice & Public Safety PAC” has reported over $1M in spending in support of a misleading ad exploiting a grieving Antioch family whose 18 year old son, Matthew Butler, was robbed and murdered by a barrage of gunfire in 2009. Victim’s family has released a statement in response to the ad.
MARTINEZ, CA– “California Justice & Public Safety PAC”, a special interest group funded by out-of-state donors released an exploitative campaign attack ad citing the 2009 high profile murder of Matthew Butler, an Antioch college student who was robbed and murdered by violent gunfire by Kayl McCutchen.
The mother of Matthew Butler, the murder victim cited in the ad, released the following statement in response.
“Matthew was taken from us when he had so much promising life ahead of him. Our family has suffered deeply. No one should ever have to face the loss of their child.” said Eileen Blumhardt-Butler, mother of 18 year-old Matthew Butler who was robbed and murdered in a barrage of gunfire by Kayl McCutchen who turned 18 two weeks after he murdered Matthew. “Mary Knox understands that victims in our community deserve justice and she stood up for our family during many difficult moments.”
Kayl McCutchen was convicted by a jury of First Degree Murder with Use of A Firearm during the commission of a robbery. A judge sentenced Kayl McCutchen to life in prison as mandated by the law.
The ad includes misleading statements about Deputy District Attorney and Candidate for Contra Costa District Attorney Mary Knox. Mary Knox has served as a Prosecutor in the Contra Costa District Attorney’s office for 37 years and has extensive trial experience. Knox has earned the endorsement of every law enforcement agency in the County, as well as state and local organizations such as the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, PORAC, the California Narcotics Officers Association and the California Gang Investigators Association. Mary has advanced social justice while preventing crime in Contra Costa County. She brought anti-bias training to the District Attorney’s Office and has fought to end discrimination against women in the Contra Costa County’s District Attorney’s Office.
Mary Knox and the incumbent are the only candidates running for election as District Attorney. Since this election will be won by a simple majority, the election of the next District Attorney of Contra Costa County will be determined by the votes cast on June 7, 2022.
“Life in Prison for Killer of 18-Year-Old Antioch Man” East Bay Times. 2011 November 23.
- The ad attacking Knox claims, “She even led the prosecution of a minor who was sentenced to life without parole.”
THE FACTS: McCutchen no longer faces a life sentence and is eligible for parole in 2033. In addition, during the time of sentencing Knox was mandated by state law, and the court was mandated by state law, to impose a life sentence.
- The ad also claims the sentence in this case was, “a practice declared cruel and unusual punishment by the Supreme Court.”
THE FACTS: The Supreme Court ruled that, in the absence of the consideration of specific factors in a case involving a minor by the sentencing judge, a life sentence would violate the 8th Amendment’s proscription of “cruel and unusual punishment”. The sentencing judge considered each of those specified factors when she sentenced him to life twice. The third time he was resentenced to life, the 8th Amendment issue was no longer a factor as Kayl McCutchen had now been given the right to a parole hearing at 25 years by Prop 57.
McCutchen “No Longer Faces The Guarantee Of Dying In Prison” Due To Legislation Passed In 2018; Will Be Eligible For Parole In 2033. “Even if McCutchen’s life sentence is upheld, he no longer faces the guarantee of dying in prison. That’s because of the passage of SB 394 in 2018, which opens the door for juvenile lifers to gain freedom. In McCutchen’s case, he will be eligible for a parole hearing in 2033, according to state prison records.” [Mercury News, 3/12/20]
Mary Knox Bio:
Mary Knox has dedicated her life to making Contra Costa County safer. For more than 37 years, Mary has served as an experienced prosecutor and advocate for crime victims. As a lead prosecutor in the District Attorney’s office, Mary has won high profile cases against some of the most notorious criminals in Contra Costa County history. She worked to dismantle the criminal gangs who have preyed upon our most disadvantaged communities, and she has engaged in meaningful violence reduction by instituting effective strategies to reduce crime and prosecute violent criminals. To discourage freeway shootings, she secured $3.5 million for freeway security cameras. She brought in $3.5 million in federal funding to combat sex trafficking. And, after recent smash and grab robberies, Mary developed a three-point plan to hold organized crime syndicates accountable and prevent future crimes.
Born and raised in Walnut Creek, Mary Knox attended UCLA and then Pepperdine Law School. During law school, Mary worked as a law clerk in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office in the Sexual Assault Unit and in a second clerkship in the Juvenile Unit. Once Mary graduated from law school, she came home and has worked as a prosecutor in the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s for the past 37 years while raising her son, Darien, as a single mother.
Key Endorsements (for a complete list visit maryknox4da.com):
- Crime Victims United
- Police Officer Research Association of California (PORAC)
- California Narcotic Officers’ Association (CNOA)
- California Correctional Peace Officers Association
- Central Coast Gang Investigators Association
- National Latino Police Officer Association – Contra Costa County NLPOA Advocacy Chapter
- Chinese American Political Association (CAPA) PAC
- Contra Costa County Sheriff, David Livingston
- Mitchell Celaya III, Calistoga Police Chief
- Douglas Krathwal, Retired San Pablo Police Chief
- Joseph Aida, Retired San Pablo Police Chief
- Walt Schuld, Retired San Pablo Police Chief
- John Moore, Retired Pleasant Hill Police Chief
- Dan Lawrence, Retired Clayton Police Chief
- Tom Holt, Former Police Lieutenant from the Contra Costa Community College District
- Contra Costa County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association
- Contra Costa District Attorney Investigators Association
- El Cerrito Police Officer Association
- Hercules Police Officer Association
- Martinez Police Officer Association
- Oakley Police Officer Association
- Pinole Police Officer Association
- Pittsburg Police Officer Association
- Pleasant Hill Police Officer Association
- San Ramon Police Officer Association
- Antioch Police Officer Association
- BART Police Officer Association
- Brentwood Police Officer Association
- Richmond Police Officer Association
- San Pablo Police Employees’ Association
- Clayton Police Officer Association
- Concord Police Officer Association
- East Bay Regional Parks Police Officer Association
- Walnut Creek Police Officer Association
The following was a press release by the Mary Knox Campaign
George Soros dumped a $1M into Becton’s campaign for this ad. Hope “catch and release” Becton loses to Knox.
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