Equal Protection Win for 1-Strike Sex Offenders
In re Woods Court: California Courts of Appeal, Docket: B301891 (Second Appellate District), Opinion Date: April 2, 2021. The Court of Appeal agreed with petitioner that Penal Code section 3051, subdivision (h), which excludes One Strike offenders from the procedures for youth offender parole hearings, violates his right to equal protection of the laws because such procedures are generally available to similarly situated offenders and no rational basis exists to deny them to One Strike offenders. Therefore, the court concluded that petitioner is entitled to a youth offender parole hearing during his 25th year of incarceration. The court's determination renders moot his argument that his sentence violates the Eighth Amendment’s proscription against cruel and unusual punishment.