Vicenson Edwards Granted Parole—Nonviolent Third Striker Headed Home

July 9, 2019 — Vicenson D. Edwards, made famous for winning his Prop 57 case against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation last year, has been granted parole.

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Edwards filed a Writ of Habeus Corpus petition last year, arguing that Prop 57 should apply to nonviolent offenders locked up under California’s Three Strikes law.

Prop 57 is a California ballot proposition, approved by voters in 2016, which allows parole consideration for nonviolent felons, changes policies on juvenile prosecution, and authorizes sentence credits for rehabilitation, good behavior, and education.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Laura Laesecke issued the decision:

“We agree with Edwards that the Three Strikes law indeterminate sentence is put aside for purposes of determining the full term for his primary offense, which is the upper term of three years. The language in section 32(a)(1) that excludes any alternative sentence from consideration is most naturally understood as a command to calculate the parole eligibility date as if the Three Strikes law alternative sentencing scheme had not existed at the time of Edwards’ sentencing. In that circumstance, the maximum term Edwards would face for the current crimes of conviction is three years in state prison (Pen. Code, §18). Edwards has long since completed that prison term, and is therefore now eligible for early parole consideration,” wrote Laesecke.

Now that the Edwards decision is in effect, The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) will be required to follow the process established by Prop 57 for Nonviolent Offender Parole Review.

This mandatory review being conducted by CDCR can still be a lengthy process, and many currently incarcerated people are finding that they are winning earlier release by filing their own Writ of Habeas Corpus petitions or other petitions such as the section 1170(d)(1) re-sentencing petition which was included in California Assembly Bill (AB) 1812 and AB 2942 last year.

Unite the People provides low-cost legal representation and legal services. Our attorneys can prepare a Writ or 1170(d)(1) petition for you or your loved one.

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Judson Parker