Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Peopel v. Hardin (S277487) : Equal Protection issue for Youth Offenders and the fairly New CSC Justices

People v. Hardin (S277487): YOUTH OFFENDER PAROLE HEARINGS Availability for LWOP who committed their crime while 25 years old or under.  

This case argues that excluding Hardin from youth offender parole consideration while allowing a 17-year-old who committed special-circumstance murder to be eligible violates his right to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment. 

Basically---> Does Penal Code section 3051, subdivision (h), violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by excluding young adults sentenced to life without the possibility of parole from youth offender parole consideration, while young adults sentenced to parole-eligible terms are entitled to such consideration? 

 The court granted review in January of this year. It later asked for supplemental briefing that suggests it’s open to revising the way it analyzes equal protection claims. 

 NOTE: This case was filed on October 11, 2023, after Patricia Guerrero became Chief Justice.  

The "open" Question is How will the New Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero impact potential criminal justice reform during her term? We present the facts you decide. 

 Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero is making history as the **first Latina** to serve as the **29th Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court**. Her journey to the helm of the state's highest court is one marked by dedication, achievement, and a commitment to justice. Born in the Imperial Valley, California, Guerrero graduated magna cum laude from UC Berkeley and earned her Juris Doctor degree from Stanford Law School. 

 Throughout her career, Guerrero has championed issues of fairness, equality, and access to justice. She is known for her thoughtful and nuanced approach to legal issues, considering the broader societal impact of her decisions.  

FUN FACTS: She is a registered Democrat. She is married and has two children. She is fluent in Spanish. 

It's important to note that Chief Justice Guerrero's impact is still unfolding. Assessing her long-term legacy will require observing her future decisions, initiatives, and how she navigates the complex legal and political landscape of California. However, her early commitment to diversity, access to justice, and thoughtful jurisprudence suggests a promising tenure that could leave a lasting mark on the state's legal system. 

Guerrero's tenure has not been without its challenges. She has faced criticism from some conservative groups for her decisions on issues like affirmative action and criminal justice reform. 

 Guerrero has actively promoted diversity within the judicial system, appointing qualified judges from underrepresented communities to various courts. This includes the historic appointment of the first openly LGBTQ+ Justice to the California Supreme Court, Justice Leondra Kruger 

She has also emphasized the importance of civic education and public engagement with the judiciary, particularly focusing on reaching out to marginalized communities.