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The Marshall Project highlights work of UnCommon Law volunteer

The Marshall Project, a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization about the U.S. criminal justice system recently featured a paper by Jeremy Isard, a UCL volunteer who assists individuals in their parole process, in their weekly newsletter. “Under the Cloak of Brain Science: Risk Assessments, Parole, and the Powerful Guise of Objectivity”  will be featured in the […]

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UnCommon Law’s work profiled by Another Look

Visit www.anotherlook.co/uncommon-law to view a newly published profile of UnCommon Law, including beautiful color photos and quotes from our Executive Director Keith Wattley and three of our clients. Thanks to Another Look for shining a light on our work and on the inspiring stories of Eddy, Ke, and Troy.

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Appeals Court Gives New Hope to California’s “Three Strikers” Denied Relief under Prop. 36

On June 24th, in an UnCommon Law case, California’s Sixth District Court of Appeal held that the new definition of “dangerousness” established by Proposition 47 must also apply to people seeking to modify their Three Strikes life sentences under Proposition 36 (the Three Strikes Reform Act of 2012).  This is a huge victory: previously, without a […]

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Court Approves Class Action Settlement over Parole Hearings!

A Federal Judge has approved a settlement giving California prisoners greater protections when being considered for parole.  On May 27, 2016, District Court Judge Kimberly J. Mueller, of the U.S. District Court in Sacramento gave final approval to a settlement agreement between a class of 10,000 California prisoners and the California parole board.  The lawsuit […]

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East Bay Express covers broken parole process, features UnCommon Law

On January 6, 2015, the East Bay Express published an investigative piece by Sam Levin detailing the arbitrary nature of California’s parole system, the lack of accountability and fiscal waste surrounding this system, and the devastating consequences for incarcerated lifers and their families. In addition to featuring several of UnCommon Law’s clients, the article sheds light on […]

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P-CAP trains Berkeley Law students as parole advocates

The Post-Conviction Advocacy Project (P-CAP) trains Berkeley Law students to assist inmates with the parole process. They are supervised by attorney Keith Wattley of the Oakland nonprofit UnCommon Law, which works with long-term prisoners to gain their release. Because indigent prisoners often receive inadequate representation from parole board-appointed attorneys, students can play a vital role. Click […]

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California Prisoners Gain Protection from Bias in their Parole Hearings!

On September 10, 2015, a class of 10,000 California prisoners reached a tentative agreement with the California Board of Parole Hearings aimed at protecting prisoners from the improper use of psychological reports when the parole board considers whether to release them from prison.  Johnson v. Shaffer (Eastern District of California, No. 2:12 -cv-1059 KJM) was filed in […]

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UCL’s work with law students featured in Berkeley Law’s Transcript magazine

The Post-Conviction Advocacy Project (P-CAP), a student-initiated legal services project at Berkeley Law (Boalt Hall) supervised by our managing attorney Keith Wattley, appears in the Spring 2013 issue of Berkeley Law’s Transcript. Here is an excerpt of the article: For most of society, prisoners are literally out of sight and out of mind. Not so for […]

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Keith Wattley’s article published in Federal Sentencing Reporter

“Insight into California’s Life Sentences” (click for PDF), written by our Managing Attorney, Keith Wattley, appears in the April 2013 issue of the Federal Sentencing Reporter. Here is an abstract of the article: California currently has more than three times as many lifers as the state with the next highest total (New York). As the nation’s […]

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Lifer School 2013: Update

Bay Area Lifer School 2013, held on April 13 at the UC Berkeley School of Law, was a resounding success. Nearly 100 attendees spent the day learning about best practices for attorneys representing lifers, legal/policy issues concerning lifers, and ongoing community-based efforts to support lifers. Speakers included former lifers Noel Valdivia, Alton “Coach” McSween, and […]

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