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Gilman v. Schwarzenegger, No. 10-15471

By FindLaw Staff on December 06, 2010 6:24 PM

Action Challenging California Victim's Bill of Rights Act

In Gilman v. Schwarzenegger, No. 10-15471, an action by eight California life-term prisoners who represented a class of similarly situated California prisoners, alleging that Proposition 9, the "Victims' Bill of Rights Act of 2008: Marsy's Law," which modified the availability and frequency of parole hearings, violated the Ex Post Facto Clause, the court reversed a preliminary injunction in plaintiffs' favor where the advance hearings provided for by the statute sufficiently reduced the risk of increased punishment for prisoners.

As the court wrote:  "Plaintiffs are eight California life-term prisoners who represent a class of similarly situated California prisoners. They allege that Proposition 9, the "Victims' Bill of Rights Act of 2008: Marsy's Law," which modifies the availability and frequency of parole hearings, violates the Ex Post Facto Clause of the United States Constitution. The district court held that Plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits of their claim. We hold that the district court abused its discretion and, therefore, reverse."

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