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        The Lowdown | The Trials of Marvin Mutch Lesson Plan

        Marvin Mutch spent 41 years in prison for a crime he insists he didn’t commit. After a rocky start in prison, Mutch became a leader and mentor to his fellow inmates and an advocate for prison rights. Despite his exemplary behavior, he was denied parole for almost 30 years, in part because he refused to confess to the crime. In 2006, he was finally granted parole with help from the Northern California Innocence Project and glowing letters from prison officials. However, the parole board’s decision was overturned by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. It was a common practice at the time to deny parole to “lifers” like Mutch. In 2016, Mutch was finally released, following changes to the law that make it harder to deny parole to inmates no longer considered dangerous. Today, Mutch is adjusting to life in free society and continues his prison advocacy work. In this lesson, students will analyze and evaluate the case of Marvin Mutch.


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