Joe received a commutation! Read his story here: Changed Lives (2019)
Joseph Bell Jr., #K30059, 7-235
CSP-Solano, P.O. Box 4000, Vacaville, Ca. 95696
Thank you for taking time out of your day to look at my profile and the LWOP page, I would like it to be known that I am a Husband, Father, Grandfather, and Uncle that is passionate about giving back to
While incarcerated I was instrumental in helping over 300 at-risk youth, earned my AA Degree in Social Science, Certified Microsoft Specialist in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and I am now actively facilitating and mentoring Youthful Offenders in the Life Line program sponsored by L.W.O.P. (Lifers With Optimistic Progress).
I stand convicted of a 1995 felony-murder or murder with the special circumstance of robbery to which I am not guilty, although I do accept some responsibility. I was not convicted as the “actual killer” and I am hoping to bring some light to this unconstitutionally vague law that was illegally enacted from 1990 to 1996, according to the California Constitution Art.II§10(b). “If provisions of 2 or more measures approved at the same election conflict those of the measure receiving the highest affirmative vote shall prevail.”
Data Facts About lwop 1990 – 2015
In 1990 there were two initiatives, Proposition 114 and Proposition 115, that the California voters
voted on. Proposition 114 won, but the Legislatures enacted both initiatives, which resulted in two
versions of Cal. Penal Code §190.2 in violation of Cal. Constitution. (see Yoshisato v. Superior Court 2 Cal. 4th 978).
This illegal Proposition 115 law allowed minors age, 16 and 17 to be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole (LWOP); it allowed non-killers and or aiders and abettors to receive LWOP or the death penalty and exploded the prison population and Level IV maximum security California prisons.
As of 9/30/2015 CDCR reports California is holding 5,012 prisoners sentenced to LWOP whether or not they were under 18 of the actual killer, because there is no clear definition of reckless indifference to human life or who is a “major participant” in this vague law.
Twenty-five (25) years later the California Supreme Court on July 9, 2015 is attempting to fix
this wrong (see People v. Banks, 61 Cal. 4th 788), stating “it would be impermissible for a state legislature to declare all participation in broad classes of felony murders, such as Burglaries or robberies, punishable by death without further inquiry into each individual defendant’s mental state.”
I hope these facts shed a little light on injustice in our judicial system and how very important
your vote is. If I could vote, I would. Please vote for Proposition 57 and Proposition 62.
Sincerely, Joseph Bell Jr.
Founder of E.D.G.E.