CA Judge Faces Tough Choices on 3-Strike Paroles


More than 1,000 prisoners from Los Angeles County have asked a judge to reduce the length of their sentences or free them under Proposition 36, a 2012 ballot measure that softened three strikes, reports the Los Angeles Times. More than 550 inmates have already been resentenced in Los Angeles County under the initiative, but the district attorney’s office is strongly opposing the release of another 530 or so third-strikers, arguing that they haven’t been rehabilitated and remain a threat. Decision-makers face the difficult challenge of selecting which of those deserve consideration.

Superior Court Judge William C. Ryan, who handles the cases, said many of his previous decisions were “no-brainer” calls involving inmates who prosecutors agreed deserved release. For another large group of inmates, the district attorney’s office opposed resentencing but didn’t demand hearings when Ryan indicated that he favored reducing punishments. The latest round of cases, which include Wallace’s, are more contentious. “I think the calls will be closer and closer,” Ryan said.

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