SAN DIEGO, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- A San Diego judge has cleared the way for the first release of a state prisoner following voter approval of a change in California's three-strikes law.
Superior Court Judge David Danielsen ruled Wednesday Kenneth Corley, 62 -- who has been in prison for 16 years under the state's prior three-strikes law -- must be re-sentenced to 15 years, four months, meaning Corley is to be released in the next few days, U-T San Diego reported.
Corley was sentenced in 1996 to 25 years to life in prison under a 1994 law mandating life sentences for anyone convicted of a third felony.
California voters approved Proposition 36 in the Nov. 6 election, changing the law to require that a third strike be a violent or serious felony, and providing for re-sentencing of those previously sentenced to life under the 1996 law.
The Office of the Public Defender and the Institute for Criminal Defense Advocacy at California Western School of Law in San Diego has worked for months with the district attorney's office to identify potential candidates for release from prison in the event Proposition 36 was approved, the newspaper said.
Lawyers argued Corley was a strong candidate because he earned a GED certificate and had not presented any discipline problems while incarcerated.
Working with prosecutors, the lawyers worked out a plan under which Corley would have a job and a place to life in San Diego.