Client who inspired reform wins release under law he championed

PCJP client Christian helped generate public support for PCJP’s efforts to reform California’s Youth Sentencing Laws In the late 1990s, when Christian was 16 years old, he was out riding his bicycle with a 19-year-old companion who was carrying a gun. The two became involved in a robbery of a…

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Read more about the article Taking the Lead
PCJP student meets with incarcerated person about rights under new juvenile justice laws

Taking the Lead

Through litigation and, most broadly, through legislation, PCJP has led the way toward hope for incarcerated youth. Since 2008, PCJP has written or co-sponsored nearly every juvenile justice bill in California.

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Read more about the article Three clients freed from California prisons
PCJP client Allen, after his release from prison. (Photo / F. Scott Schafer)

Three clients freed from California prisons

As Black Lives Matter draws national attention to the pervasive systemic racism of the U.S. criminal system, USC’s Post-Conviction Justice Project continues to work on the front lines, in June freeing three life-sentenced clients from state prisons.


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Virtual Parole Hearing Victory: A Message from the Directors

On April 9 USC Gould School of Law student Simone Rudolf-Dib won a parole grant for her client at his initial youth offender hearing in PCJP’s first-ever virtual parole hearing. Her client was formerly sentenced to life without possibility of parole and commuted by Governor Jerry Brown in 2018. Like so many…

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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…


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…


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…


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.