By Ray Stern
By New Times
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"Today, she is here. I want to know, after all these years, what you would tell the victim about how you feel in your heart. How would you explain it to her?"
Mageary swallowed deeply. The victim, sitting out of sight on the other side of the screen, covered her face with her hands.
Mageary began hesitatingly:
"I would ask her to try and picture a man that was an alcoholic and on speed. I did not seek the victim out. It wasn't planned.
"I would ask her to try to forgive me. It would probably be very hard for her to do so. I know I ruined her life. But I ruined mine, also.
"I have bettered my life in prison. I am truly sorry for what I done to her and I'm very glad, seriously, that she has come forward, because she has a right to be heard. I'm not denying that.
"But I would tell her that I'm a changed man and she has nothing to fear from me. I can't take back what I done to her. I thought often about how I ruined her life. But I hope and pray that someday she will forgive me."
Board member Riddell, sitting in the middle of the three-person panel, took over.
"National attention has been drawn to this hearing," she said.
"There's a scared community outside because of all the publicity. Some people believe you should stay in prison for the rest of your life. What do you say to them?"
Mageary shook his head.
"I know there's a lot of people who haven't given me a chance," he said. "I would say to Mr. Joe Public, 'Let me get to work, let me be a citizen. Then form an opinion.' I know I can make it on the outside with what I have learned in all these years in prison."
"Some people fear you might explode when you take alcohol," Riddell said. "They fear your explosive rages."
Mageary denied he is a victim of sudden rages any longer. He said that years of counseling in prison have cured those tendencies for good.
Deputy prosecutor Newton rose to his full six feet nine inches to speak.
"Be very sure of yourselves before you hand this man his release," Newton said in a booming voice.
"Two of the doctors who examined him wrote that they were afraid he was about to attack them. This is a man who has a convenient alibi for everything that happens to him. He never takes responsibility.
"This is a totally manipulative person. He told his original questioners that he had an IQ of only 50 to 75. You heard him today. You can see he's totally normal. He's a man who's been able to manipulate the system.
"How do you think the Tisons found their way to his mother's house when they escaped? How much did he have to do with that escape?
"I don't want to say that there's anything wrong with being married seven times, but I think it does indicate that he has a problem in his relations with women.
"I just don't think the general public should be made guinea pigs for this man."
When Patricia Pollard finally spoke, she did so in soft, barely discernible tones. It was clear that she was nervous, even frightened of Mageary. Not once during the entire hearing did she ever look in Mageary's direction.
"The main reason I'm here," she said, "is because I don't want anyone else to experience that kind of violence from this person. He says he was blacked out when this happened.
"He wasn't blacked out. I was there. "The sexual part made me feel so humiliated and dirty and degraded. You don't want a violent person like him out where he can do it again."
For at least ten minutes, she spoke softly of the ordeal of the rape and of the injuries suffered and of her time attempting to recover. She has never gotten over the trauma.
"I have never been able to trust anyone again," she said.
Her statement clearly moved the members of the panel.
Turley, who would be the only board member to vote to give Mageary his release, spoke most harshly to him.
"There are no winners here," Turley said. "I have enormous empathy for the victim. It required great courage for her to come here today.
"This crime was so heinous that if I had been the judge, I would have sent you to the gas chamber. I'm not sure that a thousand years would be enough to serve. A man who commits a crime like this forfeits his right to live in society. But this is where the old ranchers used to say that the horse hits the gopher hole."
Turley added that prisons are supposed to reform and change inmates so they are prepared for a return to society.
"The question is whether or not I think you are reformed to the point where I would feel at ease if you moved in next door to my own home.