Pubdate: Tue, 20 Mar 2001
Source: Auburn Journal (CA)
Copyright: 2001 Auburn Journal
Contact:  1030 High St., Auburn, CA 95603
Author: Mike Fitch, Journal Staff Writer


Steve Kubby announced this week he's unwilling to subject himself to 
electronic monitoring at home, acknowledging that his decision may mean he 
will have to spend time in jail.

Kubby was a central figure in a recently-concluded trial that was one of 
the most contentious cases in Placer County history.

Kubby and wife Michele initially faced felony charges arising from a raid 
on their Olympic Valley home that netted 265 marijuana plants, but those 
charges were dropped recently after a mistrial was declared in the case. At 
that point, the jury was leaning 11-1 in favor of acquittal.

Steve Kubby, however, was sentenced on misdemeanor changes of possessing a 
psychedelic mushroom stem and peyote buttons. His sentence was 120 days of 
house arrest and three years of formal probation.

In a letter to friends Sunday, Kubby said he intends to notify authorities 
that he won't accept electronic monitoring and probation, reporting that he 
and his wife will announce their decision at today's meeting of the county 
Board of Supervisors.

"After becoming aware of the incredibly strict limitations of house arrest, 
we have concluded that the 120 days of house arrest, as well as the three 
years formal probation ordered by Judge John Cosgrove is a real and direct 
threat to my life," Kubby said.

"Furthermore, we believe that sentencing me, when I am medically disabled 
and suffering from terminal cancer, to conditions that threaten my life for 
misdemeanor possession of a mushroom stem and some tiny cactus buttons is a 
violation of my Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual 

In his letter, Kubby acknowledged that he may face jail time as a result of 
his decision.

Dave Peden, the county's deputy chief probation officer, declined to 
discuss the Kubby case in particular, but noted that people sentenced to 
house arrest as an alternative to jail time can wound up in jail if they 
refuse to cooperate.

"Alternative sentencing is not a right," he said. "I mean everybody doesn't 
just get it."

Typically, anyone sentenced to house arrest in Placer County wears an ankle 
bracelet that allows authorities to keep track of their whereabouts.
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