Todd Spitzer Law

Todd Spitzer Law Representing Crime Victims Under Marsy's Law

Please go to to contact me about legal representation and Victims' Rights. I am a former State Assemblyman (2002-2008); former Chairman, Assembly Select Committee on Prison Construction and Operations; Former Chairman, Marsy's Law, Prop. 9 (2008), California's Victim Bill of Rights.

Appeals court upholds California parole laws

In 2008 I co-authored California's Marsy's Law. I then served as the Statewide Chair and Campaign Manager for Prop 9, Marsy's Law. I am glad to see the Courts upholding this important measure that provides a comprehensive Bill of Rights to crime victims. This appellate case upheld the parole provision we wrote to extend time between hearings after a parole denial making it retroactive to inmates sentenced before the initiative's passage (ex post facto).

A federal appeals court on Monday upheld California laws approved by voters that set stricter limits on parole hearings and give the governor authority to block parole.

Leslie Van Houten CBS 2 News 11:00 pm Los Angeles Denied 5 years Charles Manson Family

I am proud to be the Victims' Rights Attorney for murder victim family member Louis Smaldino and the La Bianca survivors. Yesterday, pursuant to Marsy's Law For All, we convinced the Parole Board to deny Manson Follower Van Houton a parole date. She was ordered to received another five years at the California Institute for Women. This was her 20th parole hearing. Of interest, she sued my Marsy's Law Committee during the 2008 campaign to strike her name from the ballot statement. She lost then and she lost yesterday. Peace to the Tate and La Bianca families.

Leslie Van Houten CBS 2 News 11:00 pm Los Angeles Denied 5 years Charles Manson Family

RIVERSIDE: Domestic violence forum includes author, prosecutors

My client Kelly moreaü will speak Friday night in Riverside about the murder of her mother and the great success she and her brother Shawn exhibited when they fought, and won, the reversal of the release of their mother's killer. Great job Kelly!

The local author will join other speakers to discuss domestic violence

San Diego Source > News > High court: 'Marsy's Law' applies to all 'lifers'

HUUUUUUGE VICTORY FOR CRIME VICTIMS!!! The state's high court reversed two lower courts that had ruled that great time periods between parole hearings to keep crime victims from having to repeatedly attend stressful parole hearings can and should be applied to all "LIFERS" (those who are serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole); not just those that were sentenced to prison AFTER the passage of Marsys Law. This is why I spent a year of my professional life as the STATE-WIDE CAMPAIGN MANAGER for Marsy's Law; to protect crime victims from being repeatedly re-victimized by the system that calls itself a "justice system." Crime Survivors

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The state's high court ruled Monday that a 2008 ballot measure increasing the time period between parole hearings for inmates serving life sentences applies to all so-called “lifers,” not just those sentenced after the law passed.

Did You Know? "Marsy& #39;s Law"

Congratulations to the POST Commission for its development of Marsy's Law training materials. Check it out!

Enjoy these short, informational videos on a variety of topics presented by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST). You just might discover something you didn’t know.


Todd Spitzer Law's cover photo

Illinois' Lobby Day, March 8th, 2012

Watch Senator Steans explain the support they need in the Illinois Senate for putting Marsy's Law on the ballot for a vote by the people of that state who are for Marsy's Law.

POSTED BY TEAM MARSY Sen. Heather Steans (D-7th) spoke Thursday to supporters of “Mars...

Prom night killer’s parole revoked

Check out my letter to Governor Brown urging him to overturn the parole date given to Crowder by the Board of Parole Hearings on behalf of my client Morgan Cosman. Also in the photo link is the letter from Governor Brown overturning the Board of Parole Hearing's decision to release Crowder.


The California Constitution and Penal Code section 3041.2 authorize the Governor to review parole decisions of the Board of Parole hearings with respect to a murderer who is serving an indeterminate life sentences. See Governor Brown's decision in favor of my clients, Kelly and Shawn Moreau, regarding the murder of their mother, Debbie Moreau 17 years ago. Oftentimes the system seems overwhelming; sometimes the system works!

Board of Parole granted Michael Garrett Parole date. My work with Shawn and Kelly Moreau reversed the parole board's decision to grant parole. Garrett will remain in prison!

Woman pleads to keep mom's killer in prison

Great Victory this week! Governor Brown overturned the Parole Board grant of Parole to Michael Garrett. My warrior clients, Shawn and Kelly Moreau, amassed public pressure through various media outlets. I wrote a strongly worded letter which you can see here to the Governor. We are now gearing up for another parole hearing in September. We are working on a legal fund to help Shawn and Kelly continue their battle. Contact me for details.

Crime Victims’ Rights Amendment Passes State House

What a great shout out to the first state, Illinois, to grab our Marsy's Law language that we passed in 2008 and make it their own. This is great news for our Nation's crime victims that still do not have their rights protected in the US Constitution. We hope and pray for that someday.

Senate and voter approval needed for the amendment to be added to the Illinois Constitution.

Bill would speed criminal trial process

Under California's Marsy's Law, I assert this right on behalf of my crime victim clients where it is clear that the defense is stalling merely for strategic reasons. It is great that other states are recognizing more and more that victims have rights also.

Crime victims and their families have to wait months or even years for justice because of delays in the trial process. An Alaska senator has introduced a bill to try to speed the process.

Wisconsin bill would let crime victims skip testifying

We did this year's ago in California under Proposition 115 and it works very well. Prosecutor's are smart enough to put on evidence at the preliminary hearing where the truthfulness of the victim or witness is in question. Most victims are ordinary, truthful citizens who are purposefully tripped up at these various hearings so that they look "inconsistent" in front of the jury at trial. This wouldn't avoid testifying; it would not overly burden the victim to attend multiple hearings causing so much frustration by waiting and delay they become uncooperative. Victims have lives and jobs too!

Polly Klass Foundation Named Nonprofit of Year by Justice Department

Congratulations to the Klaas Foundation (mispelled in Article) and all the amazing work it does to protect our children and reunite them with their families.

Has helped more than 7,500 families of missing children through a hotline, trainings and legislation to protect children

Victims of violent crimes ring in holidays in Irvine

I would like to publically thank Patricia Wenskunas and her Board of Directors for a most incredible day providing for those who may have a momentary time of need in 2011. What a wonderful day at Boomers. It really warmed my hard to see so many children and parents smiling. What a blessing of an event. Check out my FaceBook photos: I am very proud to serve on the Advisory Board and to be a sponsor of this annual event.

News: Victims of violent crimes ring in holidays in Irvine | crime, survivors, party, sunday, boomers, ago, holiday, families, family, years

ATRA :: News Releases

Is it any wonder California is no longer the Golden State? Does anyone know that business provides the tax base for government services? CA ranks #2 worse in nation. Sacramento just doesn't get it!
" #2 California. ...the Golden State, small business-destroying lawsuits filed by professional plaintiffs have spread throughout California..."

The American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) is a broad based trade association whose mission is to bring greater efficiency, fairness, and predictability to the civil justice. ATRA accomplishes its mission through public education and legislative reform.

Judge rules suit against Ken Kratz can proceed

Elected DA can be sued for hitting on a crime victim during the prosecution of the case.

A federal judge ruled a crime victim can continue her civil rights lawsuit against former Calumet County Dist. Atty. Ken Kratz stemming from s*xually suggestive text messages he sent in 2009.


I will be in the Superior Court this morning to represent Jack and Genelle Reilley whose daughter, Robin, was brutally murdered by Andrew Urdiales. DDA Howard Gundy is seeking the death penalty. My clients are in full support.

Abandon GOP’s Democrat-lite candidates

My response to the Mickadeit column appears on-line and in-print today in Register.

Advocating victim’s rights
ORANGE, Todd Spitzer: I understand that adding politics to Frank Mickadeit’s column adds intrigue...[but] I have been a victims’ advocate for more than 20 years – as a prosecutor, police officer and state legislator. We are adjudicating serious issues in the People v. Scott Peterson case. Both victims need the police reports so that their lawyers can effectively assist them. I have already run this legal motion in Los Angeles Superior Court, and Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley has directed his deputy to provide me and my client discovery....

[caption id=attachment_59084 align=alignright width=300 caption=Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks to a

Spitzer takes on D.A. on evidence

After decades of fighting for equal rights, we finally have a chance to get police reports and discovery for crime victims in the case. Please check out the article and weigh in on the comment section.

Home: Spitzer takes on D.A. on evidence | spitzer, victim, case, victims, evidence, rack, prosecutor, doe, rights, jane

Woman pleads to keep mom's killer in prison

Todd Spitzer commented on Woman pleads to keep mom's killer in prison.
I am now the Attorney for Kelly and Shawn Moreau in the Garrett matter. I am so proud of how they are asserting their voice on behalf of their mother, Debbie ( Under Marsy's Law, they are entitled to the transcripts of the parole hearings (2) that have occurred in this matter. As crime victims, they have the Constitutional... Right to be well informed and to the assistance of Counsel to help them convince the Governor to overturn the Board of Parole Hearings decision to grant Garrett a parole release date. See my letter below to the Governor giving him notice of my Attorney status and asserting the Moreau's Marsy's Rights on their behalf. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at

ATTN: Legal Affairs Dept., Office of the Governor, State of California.

This is to inform you that I have been retained by both Kelly and Shawn Moreau in the matter of Michael Steven Garrett, CDC . It is my clients' intent to file a letter opposing the release of Garrett and to urge the Governor to overturn the BPH October 3, 2011 parole grant pursuant to the Governor's Penal Code section 3041.2 review powers.

At this time, my clients are awaiting delivery of transcripts from the 2008 BPH Garrett hearing and the most recent Garrett hearing in October. We are aware that the Riverside County District Attorney is already in possession of the October hearing transcript, but pursuant to Marsy's Law, the Moreau's have requested copies directly through CDCR.

We are hopeful that we will receive the transcripts forthwith in order to write an appropriate letter that will be useful in assisting your office and the Governor in his decision.

Once we receive the transcripts we expect to be able to deliver a letter of opposition to release soon thereafter.

This letter serves to indicate that pursuant to Marsy's Law we are requesting, as a matter of law, the right to be heard before any decision by the Governor is determined.

Thank you very much,

Todd Spitzer
Attorney at Law.
Former State Legislator (2002-2008).
Former Chairman, Assembly Select Committee on Prison Construction and Operations.
Campaign Manager, Marsy's Law, Prop. 9 (2008)

News: Victim pleads for governor’s help in parole case | garrett, moreau, parole, kelly, debbie, board, gov, release, brother, letter


Paul Crowder Parole Denial Request to Governor Brown

Governor revokes parole for prom night killer

My client Morgan Cosman, whose sister Berlyn was murdered, needs your help with a letter to Governor Brown.

We are organizing our letter writing campaign to Governor Brown. However, today's decision, effecting a 2010 parole evaluation, seems to indicate the Governor's sentiment about last month's parole hearing where the Board gave Crowder another release date. Governor Brown now has 90 days to review this latest grant of parole. We are hopefully, given his decision to deny parole today and Crowder’s application for a parole date which was heard last month, that once again Governor Brown will reverse the parole board.
We need your support.
We are working on a sample template for supporters of Morgan Cosman to help her fight for her sister Berlyn to persuade the Governor to again deny parole. If you are interested in sending such a letter, please email me at [email protected] so I can send you the sample letter.


Todd Spitzer
Attorney for Morgan Cosman
Sister of murder victim Berlyn Cosman

News: Governor revokes parole for prom night killer | crowder, cosman, parole, governor, brown, office, second, year, night, prom

Crime victims seek more say in judicial process

Crime victims in Illinois and are going for what we accomplished here in 2008. Oh brother, read the quotes below; and these are supposedly educated practioners. We heard the same predictions. Marsy's Law has been a blessing for crime victims. I should know. I represent them in our courts everyday ( Good quotes from 's Meg Garvin....
"Although I am symp...athetic to crime victims, some of the proposed amendments have the for doing more harm than good," Darryl Goldberg, a Chicago defense lawyer, said of the proposed legislation in Illinois.
Jack King, staff attorney for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, based in Washington agreed.
"We have no place for a three-party criminal justice system," he said. "It's the government versus the accused. The government has plenty of resources already. A person might be driven more by emotion and pain than logic and application of the law."

Years after her 11-year-old daughter was s*xually assaulted, Denise Rotheimer wants the right to sue the Lake County prosecutors who sent the offender to jail, saying they defamed her child by telling the judge that the girl "had issues."

Victim Ordered to Pay Spousal Support

And people ask me every day: "Why do you represent crime victims? They have lots of rights!" Talk about revictimization. You can't believe what you will read in this story.

Crystal Harris, who had been financially supporting her unemployed, abusive husband Shawn Harris, was ordered to pay spousal support after he was convicted of s*xually assaulting her.

Todd Spitzer Legal Blog

Check out my blog post citing Crime Victims' United and its take on the so called SAFE anti-death penalty initiative. We are continually moving toward a soft on crime mentality that will reverse years of gains that have made our communities more safe.

Todd Spitzer shares his views and opinions on the top legal news and victims' rights stories of the day.

Efforts Underway for Ballot Measure to End Death Penalty |

The solution to the death penalty is not to abolish it; that has been the agenda by some for years. Now they are using the inefficiency of the system--more than 25 years of delay and appeals--to call for life without the possibility of parole. The solution: allow the Courts of Appeals to hear death case appeals; not just the CA Supreme Court which has original jurisdiction. This idea was first floated by Justice George while I was still in the Legislature in 2008.

Signature-gathering efforts are getting underway in California for a ballot measure that would end the death penalty.

State placed children in homes with s*x offenders

I am sick to my stomach about this finding. As the author of Megan's Law on the Internet (AB 488), I have dedicated my professional career to protecting our children and community against s*xual predators. We have already dealt with Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) placing s*x offenders in motels in our communities and now Elaine Howle, the state auditor has found unlawful placements of abused and neglected children where s*x offenders also reside. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? The Governor should immediately launch an investigation of his administration and hold bureacrats accountable to such a stunning and alarming finding. I want to know if there are any children victims who became s*xually abused as a result of the State's negligence.

California can -- and must -- do a better job of protecting the abused and neglected children who come into its care, concludes an alarming new report from the

Long road ahead for Seal Beach victims' survivors

Why does it always take a mass crisis like this or Columbine, for example, for the media and the public to write about the trauma and devastating impact of crime on victims and the community? Almost every victim of crime is devastated by the impact to their lives. That's why we wrote Marsys Law and groups like Crime Survivors exist. When the justice system revictimizes victims, there is little hope that the victim will recover. That's why I represent crime victims in our courts, To ensure victims get justice and respect and dignity

News: Family of Seal Beach victims: ‘One never recovers’ | says, jacobs, victims, seal, people, beach, dion, say, one, almazan

D.A. to seek death penalty in 2 cases

Genelle and Jack Reilley, my clients, have waited a long time for this day to come. They diligently campaigned for in Robbin's memory. We will vigorously support the prosecution to ensure that justice is accomplished.

News: D.A. to seek death penalty in 2 cases | death, murder, county, orange, penalty, charged, urdiales, seek, victims, westminster

Kelly Thomas’ mom celebrates his life

We haven't heard a lot yet from Cathy Thomas, mother of Kelly Thomas. But this article written by Denise Carson portrays a caring and passionate parent who wants to make sure Kelly's life is celebrated. Every crime victim family member reacts differently to the tragedy of murder. We at Marsy's Law and those of us involved in the crime victims' movement welcome this public portrayal of courage, hope and optimism.

Home: Kelly Thomas’ mom celebrates his life | kelly, cathy, life, fullerton, tina, service, memorial, police, son, mom

'I Was in the Presence of Evil,' says Dad Upon Seeing Daughter's Killer

This was the first time Genelle saw Urdiales in person. Jack had travelled to Illinois to witness the sentencing of Urdiales for the murder of the other woman in that state when Urdiales was originally sentenced to death.

Andrew Urdiales, the man accused of stabbing Robbin Brandley 41 times at Saddleback College, appeared for the first time inside an Orange County courtroom Friday afternoon.

News & Events - The Henry T. Nicholas III Foundation

Marsy's Law and Henry T. Nicholas III have championed Victims' Rights. Thanks for the shout-out! Since the voters of California passed Marsy's Law in 2008, we have made great strides in court proceedings, in the public arena on behalf of crime victims. This is a civil rights issue which I will continue to fight along side the many others, like National Crime Victim Law Institute and Crime Survivors, who also work tirelessly to ensure the crime victims are equal parties in criminal prosecutions.

Longtime victims’ rights advocates Jack and Genelle Reilly have succeeded in their tireless efforts to obtain the extradition from Illinois of a convicted serial killer accused of murdering their daughter, Robbin Brandley, in Orange County in 1986. The Reilleys argued their right under Marsy's Law t...

Victims' rights: The struggle must continue

If victims' rights are truly civil rights, than our cause is a world wide movement. Read about one mother's struggle with Canadian officials.

Today, as I struggle with finally being able to put my son to rest since Clifford Olson's death, I reflect on the way the justice system treated us so long ago.


Orange, CA


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