The California Supreme Court today issued a unanimous decision that overturned regulations issued by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) that prohibited all registrants from benefiting from the benefits of Proposition 57. The primary benefit at issue is early consideration for parole.
In today’s decision, In re Gadlin (S254599), the Court ruled that CDCR’s current regulations prohibited early parole consideration for all registrants are void because they violate the state constitution.
“This is a significant victory for registrants who are currently in custody,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci. “As the result of this decision, all registrants in custody who have been convicted of a non-violent sex offense must be provided early consideration for parole.”
According to today’s decision, CDCR may no longer deny the benefits of Prop. 57 to individuals who were previously convicted of a sex offense. CDCR also may no longer deny the benefits of Prop. 57 to any individuals who is currently in custody due to a conviction for a non-violent sex offense.
In addition, today’s decision requires CDCR to issue new regulations which acknowledge those limitations. As a result, the only individuals who may lawfully be denied the benefits of Prop. 57 are those who were convicted of a violent offense, including but not limited to, a violent sex offense.
Today’s CA Supreme Court decision is consistent with nine prior decisions issued in five appellate courts. That is, all nine decisions determined that CDCR’s regulations were invalid. Some, but not all of those decisions, including the Gadlin case, applied to individuals previously convicted of a sex offense. Other decisions, including the decision in which ACSOL is the moving party, focused upon individuals whose current offense is a sex offense.
In today’s decision, the CA Supreme Court noted that early parole consideration does not guarantee early parole. The Court also noted that the Board of Parole Hearings, which grants or denies parole, can consider an individual’s complete criminal record, including sex offense convictions, during the parole process.
The impact of today’s decision is expected to affect several cases pending before the CA Supreme Court. Those cases include In re Schuster (S260024) and ACSOL v. CDCR (S261362).
California’s top court: Nonviolent sex offenders can qualify for early parole [ktla.com – 12/28/20]
Non-forcible sex-crimes offenders are eligible for early parole, California Supreme Court rules [sfchronicle.com – 12/28/20]
Sex Offenders Can Qualify for Early Parole, California Court Rules [nbclosangeles.com – 12/28/20]
Sex offenders can qualify for early parole, California Supreme Court rules [latimes.com – 12/28/20]
California Supreme Court upbraids Jerry Brown on ballot measure [ocregister.com – 1/5/21]