January 30, 2019, 1:25 pm
A California appeals court threw out a Dept. of Corrections policy that barred sex offenders from being released on early parole. This ban had been enforced – even if the sex offender was not serving a sentence for a sex crime. The majority opinion, written by Justice Dorothy C. Kim of Div. Five, only invalidates the department’s rule that registered sex offenders currently serving time for a conviction not requiring registration are prohibited from seeking early parole under a law created in 2016 by Proposition 57. It leaves open the question of whether those currently serving a sentence requiring sex offender registration are similarly barred.
The opinion comes in response to a petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed by Gregory Gadlin, a registered sex offender since his convictions for forcible rape and forcible child molestation in the 1980s. After Mr. Gadlin’s initial habeas corpus petition was denied, the DOC changed its’ regulations. The department noted, in its statement of reasons accompanying its adopted regulations, that “these sex offenses demonstrate a sufficient degree of violence and represent an unreasonable risk to public safety to require that sex offenders be excluded from nonviolent parole consideration.”
Writing for the majority, Justice Dorothy C. Kim: “The reference to ‘convicted’ and ‘sentenced,’ in conjunction with present eligibility for parole once a full term is completed, make clear that early parole eligibility must be assessed based on the conviction for which an inmate is now serving a state prison sentence (the current offense), rather than prior criminal history.
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Author: Florida Action Committee
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