SLEEPY LAGOON DEFENSE COMMITTEE
LOS ANGELES June 7—A real victory was claimed by the Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee today with the announcement of parole release dates for nine of the twelve Mexican-American boys convicted of murder last year in the Sleepy Lagoon case.
Application for parole was made by the Defense Committee through its attorneys, Katz, Gallagher and Margolis.
Manuel Delgado will be the first released on parole—August 18 (1944). Three others will be released in September, three in December, one in January and one in May of next year. The remaining three, Henry Leyvas, Chepe Ruiz, and Bobby Telles, were given life sentences and are not eligible to appear before the parole board for seven years.
Application for parole contained a record of the work done by the Defense Committee, evidences of the public interest in the case, and quoted from an article in the San Quentin NEWS to the effect that the boys were "well-mannered", "well-behaved" and had made the greatest contribution to San Quentin sports in years.... completely refuting the charges made during the trial that they were "hoodlums" and "gangsters".
Carey McWilliams, chairman of the Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee said that the Committee feels a distinct gain has been made by the action of the parole board, but that the legal action to reverse the case will continue, not only to free the three boys who cannot benefit by parole action, but completely to exonerate the nine.
"Even though they are out of prison," said McWilliams, "they will still suffer the disadvantages of assumption of guilt. They will have lost their citizenship rights, they will be stigmatized for life, with problems of employment, and always suspect. We have the duty to clear their names and restore their rights."