KCRW: Former lifers welcome home the newly released

KCRW's podcast Greater L.A. hosted PCJP client Louis Pham in a story about how former lifers are welcomed back into the community. When a lifer steps out of prison after so many years, often decades, they are smacked with an onslaught of smells, sights, and unfamiliar sensations. “I remember walking…

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KCRW: The transformation of the California prison system

PCJP Director Heidi Rummel joined KCRW Host Steve Chiotakis on the Greater L.A. podcast to discuss how the California prison system has transformed in recent years. "Prior to 2008, California's parole system was barely functioning. Very, very few lifers ever went home. The board could deny parole for almost no…

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“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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Rapper Common and PCJP Lobby for Criminal Justice Reform

USC Post-Conviction Justice Project Director Heidi Rummel joined the rapper Common to help shine a light on criminal justice bills – including  SB 394 which USC law students helped draft and promote.  They met with state lawmakers in Sacramento in conjunction with the Imagine Justice concert on the Capitol mall grounds featuring…

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PCJP Juvenile Justice Bills Become Law

In October 2017, two bills co-sponsored by USC's Post-Conviction Justice Project were signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. Assembly Bill 1308 extends the Youth Offender Parole Process to age 25, and Senate Bill 394 eliminates life-without-parole sentences for children. Heidi Rummel, co-director of PCJP, and PCJP students have been…

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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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