SB 1437 is Constitutional: Xavier Beccera’s Brief

Today, the Attorney General broke with the DAs and the CDAA and filed a Brief in 2 appelate courts stating that SB 1437 is constitutional.

Here is the Brief, in Case No. D075790:

Attorney General’s Amicus Curiae Brief in Support of Real Parties in Interest (PDF)


Youth Offender Parole Hearings for LWOP – and CHCF has a New LWOP Group!

CA LWOP Group Announcement
Please advise ALL your loved ones, who were over age 18 when their offense occurred, that the First District Court of Appeal, Division Four, GRANTED defendants Edwards and Chioma (of Alameda County) relief on their argument that Penal Code Sec. 3051, subd.(h) was being administered (by CDCR and courts) in violation of the Equal Protect Clause of California Constitution!

What that means in plain language is: Youth Offender Parole Hearings, even for LWOPS, must be performed for ALL criminal defendants – especially between 19 and 25 yrs. When their offense occurred – cannot be denied Franklin Hearings nor suitability parole hearings after serving twenty-five years of incarceration! We are certain that the Attorney General has or, will file and appeal but, because this case was settled on Equal Protection Principles, it is highly unlikely the Justices of the State Supreme Court will undue this ruling. See link provided herewith for the actual case. Spread the word about this significant court ruling.

(California Health Care Facility)

The nearly one hundred LWOPS housed at California Health Care Facility Stockton, are proud to announce, that on Thursday June 6, 2019 we held our initial LWOP meeting with a nearly full classroom on Facility E. Many more LWOPS have subscribed/petitioned for attendance however, our class sizes are limited. Yet, with the support of our outside sponsors, we will make every effort to keep all LWOP inmates, here at CHCF informed about whatever news and/or events effecting CA LWOPS.

CHCF LWOP would also like the help of the entire CA LWOP Group in thanking (A) Warden Aldridge, CRM K. Petersen, our group Sponsor J. Flores and the many unnamed administrators of CHCF who made this amazing opportunity possible. They all deserve our collective applause.

Kenneth L. Moore C16557
CHCF LWOP Facilitator

Spoon Jackson on KALW’s Crosscurrents Uncuffed interviews commuted LWOP-er Hung Ly

Spoon Jackson and Hung Ly both worked for the Solano Visions Newsletter, and both were sentenced to Life Without the Possibility of Parole (LWOP).

Recently, Hung Ly, a member of the Lifers With Optimistic Progress, received a commutation for his sentence. Spoon Jackson, who was locked up in 1977, is still waiting for his commutation, and he interviews Hung Ly about the process of waiting for politicians to show mercy, about being older in prisons where he has to be housed in dorms, hearing all the stories on how others are getting released to the streets again, where he is still waiting for the politicians to decide whether he is reformed, even though the family of the victim has long since forgiven him…

Listen here to this story by Spoon and Hung about LWOP

Listen to Spoon Jackson’s poem At night I fly…

Screenshot from Uncuffed Poetry, by Spoon Jackson, on the KALW website (“Uncuffed” producers Damon Cooke (left), Steve Drown (middle), and Spoon Jackson (right) ).


Sentencing Project features abolish-LWOP-initiatives in its Newsletter

The Sentencing Project featured the Drop-LWOP Campaign in California as one of the initiatives to ge involved in, in its latest State Advocacy Newsletter.

In this Newsletter the Sentencing Project also features the New York-based RAPP-Campaign (Release Aging People from Prison Campaign) and the Parole Preparation Project, which organized a Parole Justice Advocacy Day in support of legislative priorities to allow parole for all people aged 55 and older who have served 15 consecutive years in prison.

You can also download, read and share the April-published Paper:

The Next Step: Ending Excessive Punishment for Violent Crimes
Released: April 02, 2019
By: Nazgol Ghandnoosh, Ph.D.:
“The Next Step highlights 15 reforms in 19 states implemented over the past two decades that have produced more effective, fiscally sound, and humane policies for people convicted of violent crimes.”
The Next Step - Sentencing Project


SB1437’s 2019 Accomplice Liability for Murder – Report by Judge J. Richard Couzens

SB 1437's 2019 Accomplice Liability, detailed report by (retired)Superior Court Judge Couzens. Read it if you plan to file an SB1437 petition. Thank you CA LWOP sponsors for making it available.

SB 1437’s 2019 Accomplice Liability, detailed report by (retired) Superior Court Judge Couzens. Read it if you plan to file an SB1437 petition. Thank you CA LWOP sponsors for making it available.

Click here or on the intro-text to open the 41-page Report.


Meet Norman Williams

Norman Williams

Norman Williams

My name is Norman Williams, I’m 48 years old and I was born in Jamaica. Raised in the mean streets of Southside, Central Kingston by a single mother of five children.

During the political civil unrest, in the 70’s and 80’s, my neighborhood experienced the most-documented brutality of that time. In 1978, ten young men were lured out of the neighborhood by government agents and five were murdered, the other five escaping — these men were my cousin and my friend’s father.

One of these men was a part of the Jamaica National Soccer Team, and my hero. This incident is called the “Green Bay Killing.” The following year, 1979, I was shot in my face by a stray bullet at age eight when a rival member came to my neighborhood and shot it up. I almost lost my eye and spent over a month in the hospital.

By the time 1980 had arrived, the unrest was at an all-time high in Jamaica; the military teamed up with the rival political party and massacred people at a party (this was called the “Gold Street Massacre”). Eventually, my mother immigrated to the United States after that incident.

Me, my brothers and sister followed behind, gradually one after another. I arrived in the U.S. as a teenager in Brooklyn, New York with my single mother working two – sometimes three – jobs to take care of her children. I got seduced by the false hope that came with selling drugs and enticed by the luxuries it gave, though inevitably, I would get arrested from time-to-time for misdemeanor marijuana sales and carrying a concealed weapon.

On 11/24/1995, a drug deal negotiation-gone-bad ended with a human being losing his life. I can’t erase or change and will not forget – the question of guilt or innocence doesn’t end there, I’ve fully grasped the trickle-down effect one brand of choices can have.

I have numerous self-help laudatory Chrono’s, a diploma in Bible study, eight certificates from ECS Prison, Vocational Computer certificate, a certificate for Non-Violence Workshop (AVP), M.A.N.U.P. Chrono and
certificate, as well as Self-Help Facilitators mentoring chrono.
With strenuous circumstance and this violent environment without any rehabilitation assistance from CDCR, I am committed to my emotional and spiritual growth, welfare, and society.


Norman Williams K-80125
CSP Solano A5-225
PO BOX 4000
Vacaville CA 95696

Changed Lives (Joe Bell)

Changed Lives

Joe Bell with supporters and certificates

Joe Bell is in the middle

At 50 years of age and 23.5 years of incarceration, my sentence of Life Without the Possibility of Parole was commuted to 25 to Life on Christmas Eve 2018 along with nine other LWOPS here at CSP Solano Level II. I am still prayerful and hopeful for the other 5,200 LWOPS who were given this living death sentence of Life Without the Possibility of Parole. It has always haunted me and dwelt in the back of my mind, asking myself, ‘this slow death is torture, why didn’t they just give me the death penalty if they feel my conviction of murder robbery was deserving of death.’

I would like to first contribute and thank my praying Grandma for not giving up on the possibility of a merciful Governor. Her prayer in a letter to me 13 years ago was that a Governor would make an opportunity for her grandson to come home. May she rest in peace, as she passed away 10 years ago.

I have 12 write ups, 10 from 1998 to 2006. I have two from 2008 – 2014. I think the Senior Parole Agent and the Governor recognized my turn around starting in 2014 with self help groups and facilitating them. They said “I earned” a sentence commutation because I started the E.D.G.E. program, diversion for at-risk youth and continued my education (AA degree and certified in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint).

I want to thank my wife Gloria, Geri Silva, Cris Moore, Joanne Scheer and all the advocates of justice reform, including us in blue inside California prisons writing letters to show the human side of us. I also want to thank Annabelle who is instrumental in putting our pictures, stories and accomplishments on the California LWOP website. I think it takes all of these things to bring about change.

LWOPS please keep writing, creating and showing your redeemable qualities, and for those who believe in God, pray, have faith and He will show you your purpose.

Peace and Blessings,

Joseph Bell Jr.