California inmates serving life terms are already starting to file resentencing petitions with local judges following last month's passage of Proposition 36, the ballot measure that overhauls the state's controversial "three-strikes" law.
But opposition from local prosecutors and other factors could limit the number of qualifying inmates who actually get released.
Scott Thorpe, CEO of the California District Attorneys Association, said his organization is recommending that district attorneys file subpoenas for the prison records of inmates seeking a resentencing hearing so they can scrutinize everything from an offender's health and psychological profile to participation in rehabilitation programs.
"We're arguing that everything should be taken into consideration," Thorpe said.
Resentencing isn't automatic, but about 2,800 inmates serving life terms could be eligible for shorter sentences or release under the measure, according to data from the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Of those offenders, nearly 70 percent originally were sentenced in five counties: Los Angeles, Kern, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday released committee assignments for new and returning Democrats in the new Congress, and Elk Grove's Ami Bera landed a spot on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Two other newly elected Californians, Alan Lowenthal of Long Beach and Juan Vargas of San Diego, will join him on the panel.
"I suspect that most true-blue union members would boycott Wal-Mart. But they're OK with having Wal-Mart in their pension's portfolio? To me, that's a bit of hypocrisy."
HARVEY ROBINSON, retired CalPERS employee and president of the 28,000-member Retired Public Employees Association of California, on the slippery slope of socially conscious investment policy