How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jim Reilly Your Own Question
Jim Reilly
Jim Reilly, Crim Defense Atty
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1805
Experience:  CA Atty since 1976, primarily criminal law. 150+ jury trials.
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Jim Reilly is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Did California pass the 85% to 65% ruling on sentencing. If

Customer Question

Did California pass the 85% to 65% ruling on sentencing. If so what would it take to invol it
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Jim Reilly replied 7 years ago.
HelloCustomerand welcome to JustAnswer.

California has passed no new law with respect to the 85% of a sentence that must be served for convictions of certain felonies. This is the law under Penal Code section 2933.1, which mandates a maximum of 15% credits for anyone convicted of a "violent felony" as defined in Penal Code section 667.5.

You can see a complete list of such felonies here:

I take it from what you said that her crime was a violent felony. In that case, if she is eligible for parole on 1-3-11 after serving 85% of her 11 year sentence, there is nothing short of a gubernatorial pardon that you can do to get her an earlier release date. And a pardon would be most unlikely.

Thanks for asking your question here on JustAnswer. If you have any other questions, please let me know.

Edited by RunTam38 CA Lawyer on 11/25/2009 at 8:27 AM EST
Jim Reilly and 4 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.


Thank you. I was referring to The Prisoner Legislation Reform Act of Oct 2009.

I know the state of California is trying to reduce the inmate population. If this goes through and if she is eligible - yes is was a violent offense, I would be interested in hiring you for process appeal.

Expert:  Jim Reilly replied 7 years ago.
Hello again Johanus.

The legislation intended to reduce the prison inmate population (to comply with a federal court order to reduce prison over-crowding), Senate Bill 18, has been passed, though it failed to fully accomplish the objectives necessary to meet the federal court order.

However, the 85% provision of Penal Code section 2933.5, relating to crimes defined in section 667.5, was specifically retained unchanged. Therefore, this legislation will have no effect on your daughter's parole eligibility date.

By the way, the reason that the law was changed to require that certain inmates serve 85% of their sentences was to qualify the state for receipt of federal prison constructions funds. It is unlikely that the state is going to make any changes that would jeopardize eligibility for such funds.

I'm sorry not to be able to give you a more positive answer, but I'm afraid a pardon is still the only legal means for your daughter to obtain an early release and the granting of a pardon is extraordinarily unlikely. Gov. Gray Davis granted none whatsoever during his time in office and Gov. Schwarzenegger has granted them only for minor offenses and for offenders who had, since release from custody, lived socially productive lives for many years. He has granted none for a currently incarcerated inmate and is not likely to do so.

I appreciate the confidence expressed in your desire to possibly retain me to represent your daughter, but the agreement by which experts provide services here on JustAnswer prohibits us from having offsite contact with customers.

Edited by RunTam38 CA Lawyer on 11/26/2009 at 3:26 AM EST