Spitzer Law Blog

Spitzer Law Blog

News & Views on Victims' RIghts

Marsy's Law Impacts Parole Life Cases

When we put together Marsy's Law, our highest order was protecting the victims' family from the numerous parole hearings and to ensure the longest possible times between hearings. - TS

Life with parole about a 20-year term, study says
San Francisco Chronicle

By: Bob Egelko
Friday, September 16, 2011

Inmates serving life with the possibility of parole in California, mostly convicted murderers, spend an average of 20 years in prison and almost never commit new crimes after being released, a new study concludes.

The report by the Stanford Criminal Justice Center at the university’s law school, issued Thursday, also found that the state Board of Parole Hearings has become increasingly willing to set release dates for “lifers” in the last few years. But those dates have often been vetoed by the governor, under a voter-approved law that has parallels in only three other states, the report said.

Release rates are likely to increase, however, under Gov. Jerry Brown. Through April, Brown had overruled fewer than 20 percent of the parole dates approved by the board, which is composed mostly of former law enforcement officers and prison officials. The comparable veto rates were 70 percent for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and 98 percent for Gov. Gray Davis.


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