Impact of Marsy’s Law on Parole in California: An Empirical Study
29 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2011
Date Written: May 16, 2011
Marsy’s Law (Proposition 9) purported to increase Victims’ Rights by making significant changes to parole in California. Supporters of Marsy’s Law intended to decrease lifer inmate’s “chances” to obtain parole by statutorily lengthening the amount of time between parole hearings, and to increase victim presence at parole hearings by creating greater opportunities for victim participation.
I conducted an analysis of 211 randomly selected parole hearing transcripts in California both before and after Marsy’s Law was implemented. I found that the passage of Marsy’s Law nearly doubled the amount of time set by the Parole Board between parole hearings. It is unclear whether Marsy’s Law has increased victim participation at parole hearings or has impacted the quality of victim participation at parole hearings.
Keywords: Parole, Marsy’s Law, Proposition 9, California, Victims’ Rights
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