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Can you appeal a life sentence with no parole?

Los Angeles, CA |

I have a friend who got sentenced in 2001 life with no parole, can a attorney appeal the sentence and get him a chance to parole?

How much would this cost? To do a writ by an attorney? And another problem is that he served 10 years in The SHU (hole), he went to a hearing to see if he can be in general population and they turned him down, his next hearing is in 2014 can a lawyer be hired to represent him for this hearing?

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Attorney answers 5


There really are not that many charges that carry that kind of penalty, but felony kidnapping for ransom or extortion, felony derailing or wrecking of a train , and second degree murder of an on-duty peace officer are some examples. Normally within 60 days after the sentence a defendant can file a Notice of Appeal. So, at this point, I think your question is could the defendant have any basis to attack the conviction and obtain a paroble sentence. My answer is that would be as a Writ, and you would need to consult with a specialized attorney who does Writs and Appeals in order to review the sitatuation and determine the options.


You can always make an appeal, but it has to be based on facts of the trial and the record of that trial. If there was a plea bargain, then the chance of any appeal was probably waived.


Only under special circumstances may he file a writ. Otherwise, no one sentenced to life without parole has ever been released on parole, in California or in any other state. Prisoners sentenced to LWOP actually remain in prison for the rest of their lives unless the sentence or the case is reversed.

The response above is not intended as legal advice since it’s impracticable to provide thorough, accurate advice based upon the query without additional details. It is highly recommended that one should seek advice from a criminal defense attorney licensed in your jurisdiction by setting up a confidential meeting. Moreover, this response does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship since this message is not a confidential communication because it was posted on a public website, thereby publicly disclosing the information, which is another reason to setup a confidential meeting with an attorney.


As my colleague mentioned, the time for a direct appeal has expired long ago. However, under the right circumstances, it may be possible to collaterally attack the conviction. An extraordinary Writ is the correct path, if appropriate. Then, there is a right to appeal the denial of the Writ.

The information provided herein does not create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided is to suggerst some general principles and should not be relied upon for client decisions. Only upon the hiring of counsel can such advice be custom-tailored to the client's specific situation and needs.


Why do you say " chance to parole?" instead of "new trial"?

Curt Harrington Patent & Tax Law Attorney Certified Tax Specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization PATENTAX.COM This communication is general information and not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This communication should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice. Please note that no attorney-client relationship exists between the sender and the recipient of this message in the absence of either (1) a signed fee contract and (2) remission of an agreed-upon retainer. Absent such an agreement and retainer, I am not engaged by you as an attorney, nor is any other member of my law firm.

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