SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) — California’s governor is allowing parole for one of three men convicted in the kidnapping of 26 children and their school bus driver nearly 40 years ago.

Gov. Jerry Brown had until midnight Thursday to decide whether to approve parole for 63-year-old James Schoenfeld or send the case back to the board that recommended his release. The governor chose not to act, which allowed the parole board’s decision to stand.

The hostages were taken from Chowchilla in the Central Valley to a quarry near Livermore and held captive inside a buried, ventilated trailer stocked with mattresses, food and water. They eventually managed to dig their way out and escaped unhurt.

READ MORE: Chowchilla Kidnapping Coverage

Schoenfeld, his brother, Richard, and friend Fred Woods were convicted of kidnapping the children ranging in age from 5 to 14.

Richard Schoenfeld was paroled in 2012. Woods could have a parole hearing this fall.

© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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