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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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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Governor Brown Signs SB 260

On September 16, 2013, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 260, a measure that allows inmates whose crimes were committed as minors to appear before the Board of Parole Hearings to demonstrate their suitability for release after serving at least 15 years of their sentence. The law will affect more than…

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SB 260 Passes the Assembly Floor

SB 260 - Youthful Offender Parole Hearing - Passes the Assembly Floor Senate Bill 260, authored by Senator Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), passed the Assembly floor with a vote of 51-21. SB 260 requires the Board of Parole Hearings to conduct a youth offender parole hearing to consider release of offenders…

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