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August 21, 2008

Split California Supreme Court ruling on parole consideration

As detailed in this Los Angeles Times article, the "California Supreme Court made it easier today for prison inmates to win parole over a governor's objections. In a 4-3 vote, the state high court said the brutality of a convict's crime may not be enough to justify a determination that a prisoner would be a danger to the public."  The full ruling is available at this link, and here is a key paragraph from the majority's analysis (emphasis in original):

In sum, the Board or the Governor may base a denial-of-parole decision upon the circumstances of the offense, or upon other immutable facts such as an inmate’s criminal history, but some evidence will support such reliance only if those facts support the ultimate conclusion that an inmate continues to pose an unreasonable risk to public safety. (Regs., § 2281, subd. (a).) Accordingly, the relevant inquiry for a reviewing court is not merely whether an inmate’s crime was especially callous, or shockingly vicious or lethal, but whether the identified facts are probative to the central issue of current dangerousness when considered in light of the full record before the Board or the Governor.

August 21, 2008 at 05:39 PM | Permalink

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Comments

While any murder is terrible the facts are interesting. It is rare to see rehabilitation so documented. She goes from "narcissistic, antisocial or borderline personality disorder diagnoses" (favorites on Nancy Grace) to "no indicia of any psychological disorder." How did that happen? Was it positive participation opportunities and self-improvement or was it taking responsibility for the crime? Or both? If both, is one a necessary and sufficient cause of the other? Must one come before the other or is there a continuing symbiosis of both resulting in healthy growth?

Do men's prisons have anywhere near the same opportunities?

Posted by: George | Aug 22, 2008 2:58:37 AM

Death and taxes are not the only guarantees in life; truth counts as well. Deny the truth, and you will soon discover that life is a game that can deliver a whole lot of undesirable consequences.

Posted by: Everything Counts | Jun 8, 2009 6:38:52 AM

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