The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit issued an opinion on March 25, 2010 that affirms a 2008 Special Master’s order regarding the use of hearsay evidence in parole proceedings.  RBG’s Michael Bien and Ernest Galvan were lead counsel for the parollees in the case.  In an article in the San Francisco Daily Journal on March 26, Bien called the decision “a significant victory coming amidst the state’s effort to reform its parole system.”

The article goes on to say, “The opinion will help ensure that there is an efficient and fundamentally fair process to protect public safety, Bien said. When Bien and state lawyers were crafting the injunction, the state opted for a 100 percent attorney appointment plan that would cover all parolees facing revocation, he said, adding that the plan has worked efficiently and efforts to undo it could lead to chaos.”

Bien concluded, “The public should champion such a process to make sure we see who needs to go to prison and who doesn’t, given that we are learning that prison is a scarce resource.”