California offenders will no longer be eligible for early release if they have been convicted of murder in the death of a police officer.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed legislation that exempts offenders from consideration for compassionate or medical release.
Currently under the law, the secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the Board of Parole Hearings determine whether a prisoner meets those provisions.
Offenders are typically recommended for early release if they have six months or less to live and would not pose a threat to public safety under court conditions or if a prisoner is permanently medically incapacitated.
Sen. Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton) has said she filed the legislation, SB 6, to target a group of offenders sentenced during a period in the 1970s, when California had neither a death penalty sentence nor a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. During that time, she said, people convicted in the deaths of police officers were sentenced to life with parole.
Opponents of the bill said the parole board was capable of screening the petitions to determine who is appropriate for release. They said medical parole was meant to decrease the financial strain of caring for medically incapacitated inmates.