Ex-SLA Leader Released From Prison

'70s radical Sara Jane Olson caught in '99; some say got off easy
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2009 1:18 PM CDT
Ex-SLA Leader Released From Prison
Correctional Counselor Bart Fortner discusses the release of former SLA member Sara Jane Olson outside the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla, Calif., today.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

The strange saga of Sara Jane Olson, from ‘70s agitator to bank robber to housewife, ended today when she was released from prison in California after serving seven years, CNN reports. Olson, a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army—best known for kidnapping Patty Hearst—fled in 1976 after being indicted for the attempted bombings of two police cars. She changed her name and moved St. Paul, Minn., where she was found in 1999.

Olson was tried for the 1975 bombings and an attempted robbery the same year. Critics, including the family of Myrna Opsahl, who was shot and killed during the robbery, say Olson deserved more prison time. "You expect thugs to do what thugs do, but you don't expect the district attorney to turn a blind eye to the murder of an upstanding citizen," Opsahl's son said. (More Sara Jane Olson stories.)

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