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)

Advertisements

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.

 

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.

Pictures from the DROP LWOP Rally August 21st 2018

Photos from the Rally held in Sacramento, California (21st of August 2018), by family and friends of people serving Life Without Parole in California. Among the organizations were F.U.E.L. (Families United to End LWOP).

Alex and Cris holding pictures of Kenny and grandchildren

Alex and Cris holding pictures of Kenny and grandchildren

Cris holding a picture of her husband Kenny who is serving a life without parole sentence even though he is innocent

Cris holding a picture of her husband Kenny who is serving a life without parole sentence even though he is innocent

Cruz's mom, Sutina Green, Cris, and Janet Davis there for her son Billy who is wheelchair-bound

Cruz’s mom, Sutina Green, Cris, and Janet Davis there for her son Billy who is wheelchair-bound