Stanford Law Students Appeal Three-Strike Cases
MSNBC ran this AP story about the work of students in the Stanford Three Strikes Project of the Mills Legal Clinic and their effort to win Shane Taylor's release from prison. Stanford's Three Strikes Project represents defendants with minor, non-violent felonies who have been sentenced under California's Three Strikes law. The AP's Paul Elias reports:
Nearly 15 years after sentencing, an inmate is getting an unexpected chance at freedom - and the judge a shot at redemption.
Students at Stanford Law School's novel Three Strikes Project, which has successfully overturned 14 life prison terms handed down for non-violent crimes under California's unforgiving sentencing law, are joined by an unusual coalition in their latest bid. The county judge and prosecutor who sent Shane Taylor behind bars for 25-years-to-life in 1996 now want to help set him free.
His public defender at trial is also supporting Taylor's plea for a reduced sentence by conceding he failed to mount an adequate defense.
In response to the law, renowned defense attorney Michael Romano co-founded the Three Strikes clinic at Stanford in 2006. He said he believes that too often the law fails to distinguish the violent career criminal from bumbling, drug addicted defendants who are sent away for at least 25 years for a nonviolent felony conviction.