High court: ‘Marsy’s Law’ applies to all ‘lifers’

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(Photo: Dstringer71/Creative Commons)

(Photo: Dstringer71/Creative Commons)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The state’s high court has ruled that a 2008 ballot measure increasing the time period between parole hearings for inmates serving life sentences applies to all so-called “lifers,” not just those sentenced after the law passed.

The unanimous seven-member court said Monday that “Marsy’s Law” wasn’t intended to prolong punishment or change any inmate’s sentence.

“Marsy’s Law” expanded the legal rights of crime victims, including notifying them of all court proceedings and parole hearings. The law also imposed minimum lengths of 7, 10 and even 15 years between parole hearings for certain prisoners serving life sentences with the chance of parole.

Before Marsy’s law, the maximum length between parole hearings was five years for murder and two years for all other convictions.

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