Pubdate: Thu, 22 Mar 2001
Source: Tahoe World (CA)
Copyright: 2001 Tahoe World
Contact:  P.O. Box 138, Tahoe City, CA 96145
Fax: (530) 583-7109
Author: Mike Fitch, Auburn Journal
Bookmark: (Kubby, Steve)


AUBURN - 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.
Kubby, however, was sentenced on misdemeanor charges of possessing a
psilocybin 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 intended to notify
authorities that he won't accept electronic monitoring and probation. 

"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 punishment." 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 end 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 his or her
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