In In re Gadlin, the Supreme Court today strikes down Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation regulations that exclude from parole eligibility all inmates who have past or current convictions requiring sex offender registration.  The court’s unanimous opinion by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye holds such a conviction can’t disqualify those who, because they are currently imprisoned for nonviolent felonies, are otherwise entitled to parole consideration under Proposition 57, a 2016 initiative sponsored by then-Governor Jerry Brown to amend the state constitution (see here).

The court concludes, “nonviolent offender parole eligibility must be based on an inmate’s current conviction” and “an inmate may not be excluded from nonviolent offender parole consideration based on a current conviction for a registerable felony offense that the Department’s regulations have defined as nonviolent.”

The court stresses that Proposition 57 and the court’s opinion concern only eligibility for parole evaluation and “does not require the release of any inmate.”

The court affirms the Second District, Division Five, Court of Appeal.

[July 16, 2021 update:  Supreme Court grant-and-transfer order in subsequent writ proceeding to determine whether Gadlin should now have a nonviolent offender parole hearing.  (See here.)]