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Appeals Court Upholds California Parole Laws

(AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld two California laws dealing with prison inmates' eligibility for parole, one that set conditions on parole hearings and another that gave the governor authority to block parole.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Monday that the laws do not violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on retroactively increasing punishments for crimes.

Marcy's Law - approved by voters in 2008 as Proposition 9 - extended the amount of time a prisoner has to wait in between parole hearings. Proposition 89 - approved by voters in 1988 - gave the governor authority to reverse, affirm or change the terms of parole granted to inmates serving time for murder.

California inmates sued to overturn the laws. An email to their lawyers was not immediately returned.