Calif. Prisoners Challenge Voter-approved Law

Wednesday, Jan 12, 2011  |  Updated 1:15 PM PDT
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Calif. Prisoners Challenge Voter-approved Law

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Prison.

Hundreds of California inmates serving life sentences want a federal judge to suspend a 2008 voter-approved law that they allege illegally extends their prison terms.

Lawyers for the prisoners plan to ask U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Karlton on Wednesday for the suspension while they challenge the legality of Proposition 9, known as "Marsy's Law."

The law lengthened the time that those serving life sentences have to wait between parole hearings, in some cases up to 15 years. Before Marsy's Law, some inmates were entitled to parole hearings every year.

Last month, a federal appeals court sided with the state, saying there's no evidence that prison terms were extended by the law. The court noted that the law allows inmates to petition for earlier hearings.
 

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