In 2006, with legal assistance from the Northern California Innocence Project and support from high-ranking prison officials, Mutch was granted parole. But that decision was rescinded by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who did not to be accused of allowing someone convicted of murder back on the streets.
It wasn’t until 2016, at the age of 59, when Mutch finally re-entered society. His release was partly the result of an earlier court-mandated change to state parole rules making it harder to deny parole to inmates no longer considered dangerous.
Today, Mutch remains under parole supervision and continues his prison advocacy work. The Trials of Marvin Mutch, a KQED News documentary by Adam Grossberg and Alex Emslie, investigates the complex details of the original trial, and follows Mutch today as he adjusts to freedom for the first time in four decades.
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Opening quick write prompt:
Do you think someone convicted of a heinous crime can be rehabilitated and should regain freedom? Why or why not?
A quick write allows students to write down their thoughts before discussing the opening question in order to increase participation and make the discussion more accessible to English Language Learners.
- Students will analyze and evaluate the case of Marvin Mutch, including his arrest and conviction, and the issues surrounding his eventual release from prison.
- Students will investigate and reflect on the theme of justice, rehabilitation and parole policy, as well as the role of groups that advocate for the wrongfully convicted.
Who should be in charge of deciding if and when convicted criminals should be granted parole? How can justice be better served and wrongful convictions avoided?