“You Guys Are Coming Home”

Six inmates sat in the visiting room of California’s Corcoran State Prison, and each one held a piece of paper. The information in their hands was basic enough; it’s what anyone could find out about them on the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation website. But for these inmates meeting…

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Striving for Juvenile Justice

Nearly every week, Prof. Heidi Rummel received a phone call from [name redacted]'s mother. The anxious woman would describe her son’s plight and plead for USC’s Post-Conviction Justice Project to take his case. PCJP students worked tirelessly on his case, and he was resentenced in 2014 under the Fair Sentencing…

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Three Major Victories for Gould Students

Law students in USC Gould’s Post-Conviction Justice Project (PCJP) recently celebrated three major victories after hard-fought battles in Superior Court, and before parole boards and district attorneys. Law students successfully persuaded a Sacramento County Superior Court to impose a parole-eligible sentence on Dwayne Thomas DeLuna, a client sentenced to life…

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A Life Beyond Prison

Convicted of a murder at age 18, Marvin Mutch spent 41 years in prison despite multiple appeals and valiant efforts by the California Innocence Project. Because he maintained his innocence, Marvin Mutch was denied parole at 21 hearings. That is, until last year, when the PCJP represented him at his…

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Big Win for PCJP

A 74-year-old woman, known as “Mother Mary” to family and friends, was released from prison March 24 after serving 32 years for crimes committed by her batterer.  Mary Virginia Jones, represented by law students at USC’s Post-Conviction Justice Project, appeared in Los Angeles Superior Court. Dozens of family and friends…

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PCJP: Over 75 Lifers Released

For more than thirty years, the Post-Conviction Justice Project has represented thousands of clients before state and federal parole boards, and in both the state and federal court systems.  For the past twenty years, students in the Project have represented state prisoners, mostly women incarcerated at the California Institution for Women, serving life-term sentences for murder convictions.  Many committed crimes related to a history of physical or sexual abuse, and some were convicted for killing their abusers.  PCJP client Rose Parker, now Dr. Rose Parker-Sterling, was one of only three life-term inmates to be released on parole under then-Governor Gray Davis.  Her release in 2000 marked the first in an ever-growing number of PCJP clients to be released.

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