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California Denies Medically Related Parole In Test of New Law

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
By KPCC's Julie Small
Inmate Steven Martinez is serving 157 years to life for raping and beating a woman he ran down with his vehicle outside a San Diego nightclub. 

In prison, Martinez got into a knife fight that left him paralyzed from the neck down.  Now he's incapacitated and in need of 24-hour care - those are the main criteria for medical parole.

But California's parole board's said it could not recommend Martinez for parole. 

Three years ago, and again last year, the board denied Martinez' requests for compassionate release on the grounds that he "remains a violent person capable of using others to carry out his threats." 

Prison nurses have reported that Martinez has threatened them with violence even after he became paralyzed. 

A spokeswoman for the federal receiver in charge of California prison medical care says that office has identified 40 inmates who qualify for medical parole.

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