Friday, August 17, 2007

In Re Roderick (Cal. Ct. App. - Aug. 17, 2007)

I love the (lengthy) dialogue between Justice Rivera, who authors the majority opinion, and Justice Sepulveda, who dissents, here. Both make articulate and persuasive points. Both make, in my mind, reasonable arguments. And yet, obviously, only one can actually be correct.

It's a fact-specific case regarding whether Alfred Roderick, a 75-year old inmate convicted of second degree murder by stabbing someone who pulled a knife on him in a bar fight, is entitled to parole. Notwithstanding the fact-specific inquiry, however, the case is symptomatic of more pervasive issues regarding the treatment of parole decisions both by the parole board and by the judiciary. And, on this score, both Justice Rivera and Justice Sepulveda make excellent points.

Reasonable minds could come out both ways. It's an interesting case. Worth the 86-page read. And that's saying a lot.