CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Friday, November 5, 2010

Court overrides governor's veto of parole for murder convict who still protests innocence

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

The state parole board has approved Michael McDonald's release three times and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed it each time, saying the convicted murderer showed a "lack of insight" into his crime because he still insisted he was innocent.

But a state appeals court says that neither the governor nor the board can insist on a confession before paroling a prisoner who, based on the evidence, is not dangerous.

State laws "prohibit requiring an admission of guilt as a condition for release on parole," the Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles said Tuesday. The court said McDonald's background, his behavior during 17 years in prison and psychological evaluations all indicate that he poses little risk of future violence.

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