In 1991, ten men were dubbed “The Woodlands 10” after they hunted and savagely killed Paul Broussard, a Houston gay man.
According to their own testimony, the group was out that night “to beat up some queers.” When they found what they were looking for, in this case Broussard, they beat him with a nail-studded 2×4, and one member of the group went so far as to “gut him like a deer.”
The man responsible for the gutting, the stabbing that elevated the attack from beating to murder, is Jon Buice. He was 17 years old at the time, and was sentenced to 45 years in prison for his critical part in the murder of Paul Broussard.
Less than half of his sentence later, Buice has been granted parole in a unanimous vote of 2-0.
Broussard’s mother, Nancy Rodriguez, flew to Houston last month to plead with the parole board to keep Buice behind bars.
“This decision sends chills down not only to Nancy’s family but to other families of murdered children in hoping that they don’t have to undergo the same ordeal,” Kahan said.
“We’re going to encourage all members of the community to write the parole board, write their representatives, write their state senators,” Freeman said. “We will mobilize the community. The community mobilized when Paul was murdered back in 1991.”
Buice had an unlikely advocate on his side. Gay activist Ray Hill believes Buice has been rehabilitated. Hill once served time in prison and met Buice through his prison radio show.
“There is more to life than revenge,” said Hill. “There’s also restoration, forgiveness, understanding. If we have lost all of our human kindness traits, why do we still breathe this air and occupy this space?”
According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Buice is currently classified as a State Approved Trustee. A spokesperson tells us that he’s had overall good behavior behind bars and received several college degrees.
Buice will be released with the maximum level of supervision. He will be required to wear an electronic monitoring device, receive substance abuse treatment and have no contact with the victim’s family or his co-defendants.
Just to reiterate here:
- Buice went hunting for queers.
- He, and nine of his friends, beat Broussard for being gay.
- Buice gutted Broussard, murdering him.
- And now, after serving less than half of his sentence, he has been granted parole for “good behavior.”
Our criminal justice system, and chronic categorization of LGBT Americans as “less-than” is broken.
Do you think Buice should be released from prison?