SAN DIEGO -- A San Diego inmate who was serving 25 years to life has become the first to be released under the revised California Three Strikes law that voters approved on Election Day.
Kenneth Corley, 62, will be released in the next few days after Superior Court Judge David Danielson resentenced him Wednesday, U-T San Diego reported (http://bit.ly/Ufzi47 ).
Prosecutors singled out Corley's case months ago when they began identifying inmates serving life sentences for nonviolent offenses.
Corley was a lifelong drug addict with a record of nonviolent crime, mostly burglaries that fed his habit.
He had served 16 years in prison, but Danielson resentenced him to 15 years and four months after hearing arguments that Corley had earned a GED certificate behind bars and had no disciplinary problems.
The original Three Strikes law mandated life sentences for anyone convicted of a third felony.
Proposition 36 changed the law to require the third strike to be a violent or serious felony. It was approved by 68.8 percent of voters and can be applied retroactively.
Prosecutors and a program at California Western School for Law in San Diego teamed up to create a re-entry plan for Corley that includes a place to live and a job.
California Western professor Justin Brooks worked on Corley's case and said after Wednesday's hearing that he is confident Corley won't end up in prison again.
"It makes no sense to put people in prison for the rest of their lives for nonviolent offenses," Brooks told the newspaper.