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Last fall Marshall Camp ’02, a partner at Irell & Manella, argued the first case under California’s Fair Sentencing for Youth Act—and won. As a result, one man who has served 22 years in prison now has the possibility of parole in three years or less.
Signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown in 2012, the act allows those sentenced to life without parole for crimes committed as minors the opportunity to apply for a reduced sentence of 25 years to life. Camp, who formerly served as a federal prosecutor, argued for a reduced sentence on behalf of Edel Gonzalez, who participated in a 1991 carjacking resulting in the death of the robbery victim. Although Gonzalez, then age 16, was unarmed during the robbery, he received the same life sentence as the adult offender responsible for pulling the trigger.
Gonzalez “lived a model life in prison, avoiding gangs, drugs, and violence, while taking advantage of educational opportunities and finding religion. I can’t imagine how someone could do that with no realistic prospect of ever getting out,” said Camp in an interview with Super Lawyers.