Protecting Your Rights
Just because a prisoner is behind bars doesn’t mean his or her legal rights should be locked up as well. The Rosenfeld Law Firm has years of experience in California prison law and federal criminal defense. These Sacramento attorneys have hundreds of “lifer” hearings to their credit and have successfully fought back the rights of inmates. Headed by principal California criminal defense attorney, Ken Rosenfeld, this Sacramento-based legal group consistently stays current on the state’s case law, especially California prison law. Each attorney is well-versed in the California Code of Regulations, Title 15, and the California Penal Code, offering prisoners their best chance of favorable representation.
Board of Parole Hearings (BPH)
If you are lucky enough to obtain a Board of Parole Hearing, hiring a California criminal defense attorney prior to your hearing maximizes your success rate. The California criminal defense lawyers at The Rosenfeld Law Firm can ensure that you are properly prepared to respond to questions presented at the Board of Parole Hearing.
Challenging the Board
California state prisoners have the right and the ability to challenge the decisions made by the Board of Parole.
- If you’ve had a Parole Suitability Hearing and have been denied parole, through the courts it is possible to challenge the Board.
- You can also challenge the Board on the conditions of your confinement.
- As a life prisoner, you have the option to hire your own private criminal defense attorney to assist in preparing for a suitability hearing or appealing the decision by the Board to deny your parole.
According to California prison law, California prisoners may file a Petition for “Writ of Habeas Corpus” challenging Board of Parole Hearing decisions, as well as conditions of their confinement. It is unreasonable however, to expect that prisoners would have the legal expertise or knowledge necessary to successfully challenge the arbitrary decisions made by the Board. To successfully overcome the decisions of the Board of Parole and secure your release, you will need legal expertise such as that offered by the Sacramento federal criminal defense attorneys found at The Rosenfeld Law Firm. These talented lawyers have both the expertise and experience to overcome decisions of the Board of Parole, they can present evidence on your behalf in appellate court, and have a history of securing releases for prisoners who deserve to be given a second chance.
California Prisons—Far from Perfect
There is no question that the California prison system is broken.
- The Prison Receivership: The medical care of California inmates has been in the hands of a federally-appointed receiver since 2005. The end may be near by mid-2013 when the population reduction is supposed to be achieved but the State is fighting over how much reduction should actually be achieved. Outside of California, there are still about 9,500 inmates housed in expensive private facilities. Work is proceeding on new California prison medical facilities which should be completed by 2014.
- For those who meet all the parole criteria necessary for release, much of the state’s prisoner overcrowding could be addressed through the release of inmates who are serving life terms (a.k.a. “lifers”).
- Even though the California Supreme Court ruled that the Board of Parole Hearings cannot deny parole based solely on the commitment offense, and holding that the Board shows “some evidence” of aggravating facts beyond the minimum facts of the crime, the Board of Parole continues to deny prisoners parole at a staggering rate.
Unacceptable Board of Parole Statistics
- Currently, only 5 percent of the approximately 3,000 “lifers” who have parole suitability hearings each year are granted parole dates by the Board of Parole
- The governor of California then overrides approximately 90 percent of these 150 or so dates.
- Thus, prisoner parole which is “granted” is then reduced to less than two dozen inmates per year.
The Disadvantage of State-Appointed Attorneys
The majority of California life prisoners are represented by counsel appointed by the state. These state attorneys, though well-intended, are paid only $30 per hour, and can receive a maximum of $240 for the entire case including prisoner meetings, file reviews, travel expenses, and representing the inmate at the hearing. It should come as no surprise that most life prisoners go to hearings completely unprepared to face questioning by the Board members, or present evidence on their own behalf which would, at the very least, be taken into consideration by an appellate court on review of the hearing. Having an attorney in your court, such as those found at The Rosenfeld Law Firm, will greatly impact the outcome of your case.
Contact Us Today
Along with legal advice, The Rosenfeld Law Firm in Sacramento, California, offers experience and representation in other pertinent areas of practice including prison law, mental health law, appellate law, and federal criminal defense.