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Couple Accused of Abuse May Be Eligible for Elder Parole

February 28, 2019

The Turpins will be eligible for a parole hearing in 2044

Couple Accused of Abuse May Be Eligible for Elder Parole

It was a case that shocked the nation. After one of their children escaped and told her story to the police, David and Louise Turpin were arrested for torturing and abusing their 13 children. The children had been chained to their beds, were not permitted to take baths, and were an average of 32 points underweight. The children lacked education and were living in squalor. All together, the couple faced nearly 50 counts related to torture, false imprisonment, willful child cruelty, and cruelty to a dependent adult. In February, the couple pled guilty to 14 counts each, and received terms of 25 years to life.

Across California, these sentences were viewed as justified, given the abuse that they inflicted on their children. Given the ages of the Turpins — 50 and 57 — their sentences were tantamount to life in prison. Yet a new law may permit them the opportunity to seek release.

In 2018, the Elder Parole Law went into effect. This law, Assembly Bill 1448, requires the State Parole Board to grant all elderly prisoners parole hearings, except for death row inmates and others who are not eligible for parole.

To be eligible for elderly parole, an inmate must be 60 years of age or older, have served a minimum of 25 years of continuous incarceration on their sentence, and be otherwise eligible and suitable for parole. To determine suitability, the Parole Board will consider whether the risk of future violence or offenses has been reduced by age, time served and/or diminished physical condition.

As a criminal defense lawyer Riverside, CA can explain, some inmates are not eligible for elderly parole. These include anyone sentenced under California’s Three Strikes law, anyone sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, or anyone convicted of first degree murder of a peace officer or a former peace officer.

Elderly parole can be requested at a regularly scheduled parole hearing or by requesting an advance parole hearing once an inmate becomes eligible for elderly parole. An elderly parole hearing is otherwise the same as a parole hearing; the inmate and any victims (or representatives) will be present and can speak, if desired. The board will then make a decision on suitability for parole.

While the Turpin crime was especially heinous and made national news for the shocking nature of the abuse, there are many situations where elderly parole is justified for a person who has served their time and is no longer a danger to the community. In those cases, a criminal defense lawyer Riverside, CA can work with the inmate and/or their loved ones to prepare for an elderly parole hearing.

If you have been charged with a crime, the Chambers Law Firm can help. Contact our firm today at 855-397-0210 or dchambers@clfca.com to schedule a free initial consultation or to learn more about how we can advocate for you.

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