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Parole Denials a Cause for Second Guessing

Publication Date: 
September 30, 2011
The Recorder
Kate Moser

The California Supreme Court in 2008 attempted to clarify how much power the executive branch has to deny parole to the more than 32,000 "lifer" inmates serving time in California.

Judging by the dozens of published and unpublished conflicting — and sometimes heated — court of appeal rulings since then, it appears the court failed.

It's set to take another stab at it in a case set for oral argument Monday.


Gray Davis reversed almost all lifer parole grants when he was governor. Schwarzenegger reversed about 60 percent and remanded 20 percent to the board for further review. In his first months in office, Gov. Jerry Brown has reversed at the lowest rate of the three, according to a study on parole for lifers published this month by the Stanford Criminal Justice Center.