Attorneys from California Western School of Law represented the first inmate resentenced under Proposition 36
California Western Attorneys Secure First Release of a Non-Violent Offender Under Prop 36
Approval of resentencing request caps months of work with San Diego County District Attorney
SAN DIEGO, November 21, 2012 - San Diego County Superior Court Judge David J. Danielsen today approved a request by the Institute for Criminal Defense Advocacy at California Western School of Law and the San Diego County District Attorney's Office to resentence Kenneth Corley, 16 years after he was sentenced to 25 years-to-life for a non-violent drug offense.
Corley's resentence and release is thought to be the first under Proposition 36, the voter-approved measure to amend the Three Strikes law. Under the new law, inmates can apply to be resentenced so long as their conviction was not for a serious or violent crime. Attorneys from California Western spent the past several months working with the San Diego County District Attorney's office on Corley's petition.
"I am thrilled to be able to tell Mr. Corley today that he is going home after 16 years of incarceration,” said Justin Brooks, Corley's Attorney and a Professor at California Western School of Law. "I applaud District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis for working with us to free him even before Proposition 36 passed. It makes no sense to keep non-violent offenders in prison for the rest of their lives."
About Kenneth Corley
Corley was convicted in 1996 after pleading guilty to four drug-related charges. He was sentenced to 25 years-to-life under California’s Three Strikes law. Several months ago, the San Diego District Attorney's Office approached California Western’s Institute for Criminal Defense Advocacy to collaborate on requests to release non-violent drug offenders incarcerated by the Three Strikes law. Corley and Sergio Ayala are the first two inmates scheduled for resentencing in San Diego. Ayala's hearing is set for late next week.
Upon his release, Corley will move into a halfway house in downtown San Diego for additional job training and counseling, before moving in with his two brothers and beginning maintenance work for a family friend.
About the Institute for Criminal Defense Advocacy
The Institute for Criminal Defense Advocacy was founded in 1991 through a generous grant to California Western and Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. from the San Diego Indigent Defense Fund. The institute's mission is to improve the quality of criminal defense representation. Programs include Street Law San Diego and Spanish-language programs aimed at improving criminal defense law in Latin America.