Since 1981, the Post-Conviction Justice Project has represented hundreds of clients in front of the Board of Parole Hearings and all levels of the California Court system. The Post-Conviction Justice Project is currently representing more than 50 women serving determinate and indeterminate life sentences at the California Institution for Women in Chino, California. In 2008, PCJP successfully represented Sandra Davis-Lawrence before the California Supreme Court in a defining case for the state’s parole system. Since then, the Project has been increasingly successful at securing grants of parole and court-ordered release for its clients.
To read more about Sandra Davis-Lawrence, as well as other former and current clients of the Post-Conviction Justice Project, click on their names below.
Since 1994, the Post-Conviction Justice Project has obtained release for more than fifty inmates from the California Institution for Women. Since last summer, the Project has successfully obtained grants of parole for eleven inmates — five were granted parole by the Board of Parole Hearings and approved by the Governor, and six were released through the successful litigation of writs of habeas corpus.
Learn more about some of our released clients by clicking on their names below.
PAULINE BOWEN: Pauline spent more than twenty-five years incarcerated, earning a reputation among peers and prison staff as a highly trusted and model inmate. She was released in 2009, after Governor Schwarzenegger allowed her fifth grant of parole to stand.
SANDRA DAVIS-LAWRENCE: In a defining case for the California parole system, the Post-Conviction Justice Project successfully argued before the California Supreme Court that longtime inmate Sandra Davis-Lawrence’s due process rights had been violated by the Governor’s reversal of her grant of parole.
MARISOL GARCIA: A victim of human trafficking and extreme abuse by her captor, Marisol Garcia was finally released and reunited with her family in Mexico.
LEESHA GOOSEBERRY: 44-year-old mother, Ms. Gooseberry, has been incarcerated for 25 years. She was found suitable for parole for a second time on July 6, 2012.
MARGARET MOORE: A victim of unspeakable abuse by her husband, Margaret Moore was initially sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. In 2002, USC law students successfully advocated for her and she regained the possibility of parole. She was finally released on parole in 2009.
MARTINA OLEA: After serving nearly three decades at the California Institution for Women, where she was a model prisoner who earned her high school degree in 2010, Martina Olea was released and reunited with her family in Mexico.
LUCI ONDRASEK: A victim of abuse for more than twenty years, Lucy turned to alcohol as a way to deal with her pain. She was convicted of first-degree murder, and sentenced to twenty-five years to life, for killing a man while she was heavily intoxicated. After serving more than thirty years in prison, Lucy was found suitable for parole on March 9, 2011, and released after Governor Jerry Brown allowed her grant of parole to stand.
HEDI SMITH: Ms. Smith has been in prison since she was 21 years old for her role as an accomplice to murder. After 28 years of incarceration, the Board of Parole found her suitable and granted parole on June 21, 2012.
LYDIA SMITH: Although she always maintained her innocence, Lydia was convicted of murdering her husband and sentenced to seven years to life in prison. She served more than thirty years in prison before being finally released in 2011, at the age of 65.