Murder Case Update
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Some of you with 1st degree murder convictions that occurred prior to July 1, 1984, have been appearing before the Board for so-called 1457 minimum term settings. Information received by this writer indicates that the Board is handing out very long terms in the vast majority of the cases, and it is using the SRA laws (which are harsher than the old ones) to guide the minimum term setting process. That application of the SRA has been challenged on ex post facto grounds by attorneys from Evergreen Legal Services in In Re Thompson, which is pending in the State Supreme Court. On Wednesday, January 23, 1991, the Court heard oral argument in Thompson. Attorneys report that everything went very well, though it is of course impossible to guess what the Court will ultimately do. There should be a decision within 3-5 months. If successful, all the reset minimum terms for Pre-SRA lifers serving 1st degree murder terms (with the possibility of parole) will be rendered invalid and re-instating the old 13.4 term eligibility review date.