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Articles by Marvin Mentor

California: Multi-Year Lifer Parole Denial Is Permissible Following One-Year Denial, Even In Absence of Significant Changes

The California Court of Appeal reversed the Marin County Superior Court’s ruling that had constrained the Board of Parole Hearings (Board), when conducting lifer parole consideration hearings, to give no more than a one-year denial of parole if the previous denial was for one year, unless it found significantly ...

Ninth Circuit: “Some Evidence” of Offense Viciousness Justifies Denial of Lifer’s Parole

The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held that the denial of a second degree murderer’s parole by the California parole board (BPT), based upon factors relating solely to the commitment offense, was justified when supported by “some evidence” in the record. The appellate court thus reversed the ...

California DOC’s Former Healthcare Receiver Overpaid Staff Benefits by $218,790

A February 2008 “disbursement review” report by California’s Inspector General (IG) revealed that the state’s former federal court-appointed prison healthcare Receiver, Robert Sillen, had expended hundreds of thousands of dollars in questionable expenses for travel, in-lieu employee benefits and other costs during his first 15 months of operation ...

California Lifers’ New Litigation Tool: DA’s “Opinion” and Governor’s “Belief” Do Not Constitute “Evidence” in Parole Denial Cases

In the final chapter of the litigation saga of now-paroled PLN writer John Dannenberg, on April 22, 2009, the California Supreme Court declined review and approved publication of the state appellate court’s January 23, 2009 decision in In re Dannenberg, 173 Cal.App.4th 237 (Cal. App. 6th Dist ...

Federal Three-Judge Panel Orders California To Reduce Prison Population By 44,000 Prisoners Within Two Years

In a landmark ruling, a federal three-judge panel ordered the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to cap the prison population of its 33 adult prisons to 137.5% of their 79,828 design capacity, or 109,763 prisoners, within two years.
Since the present population (counting only those ...

California: Parole Board’s Policy Barring Friendly Oral Witness Testimony At Lifer Hearings Ruled An “Underground Regulation”

The California Office of Administrative Law (OAL) struck down the unwritten policy of the California Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) that denied all requests for friendly oral witness testimony at lifer parole hearings. The April 27, 2009 OAL ruling found that because this policy was not expressly permitted by existing ...

Prisoner’s Right to Mail Announcement of Peaceful Demon-stration Trumps Purported Prison Security Claims

On October 21, 2008, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California upheld a state prisoner’s First Amendment right to send mail after his letters to several media agencies were blocked by prison authorities. The letters asked the media to announce a peaceful demonstration by prisoners ...

California County’s 2005 Purchase of Private Prison Still Clouded in Conflict of Interest Questions

California County’s 2005 Purchase of Private Prison Still Clouded in Conflict of Interest Questions

by Marvin Mentor

Investigative journalism by the San Bernardino Daily Bulletin has revealed that the April 2005, $31.2 million purchase of a private prison by San Bernardino County remains under a conflict-of-interest cloud because the ...

California Appellate Court Grants Writ, Reverses Governor, Reinstates PLN Writer’s Grant of Parole

California Appellate Court Grants Writ, Reverses Governor, Reinstates PLN Writer’s Grant of Parole

by Marvin Mentor

The California Court of Appeal, 6th District, has twice granted the habeas petition of PLN contributing writer John Dannenberg, whose favorable Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) decision in 2005 was reversed by Governor Arnold ...

Corruption in Orange County, CA Sheriff’s Department Revealed; Sheriff Resigns, Convicted on Criminal Charges

Corruption in Orange County, CA Sheriff’s Department Revealed; Sheriff Resigns, Convicted on Criminal Charges

by Marvin Mentor

Former Orange County, California Sheriff Michael S. Carona and many of his staff at the Theo Lacy jail have resigned or been fired after widespread misconduct was exposed.
A 2007 Special Criminal Grand ...