Heidi Rummel co-directs the Post-Conviction Justice Project. Under her supervision, second and third-year law students represent California life-term inmates, primarily women and youth offenders. The Project has won the release of more than 100 clients through the parole process, on habeas corpus challenging the denial of parole, and on habeas corpus challenging murder convictions where expert testimony of Intimate Partner Battering was not received by the court. Since 2012, the Project has represented juveniles sentenced to life without the possibility of parole on constitutional challenges to their sentences, petitions for resentencing, and resentencing hearings.
Rummel has worked to pass recent legislative reforms in California, including expanding the scope of habeas relief for inmates with a history of battering related to their crime (AB 593 amending Penal Code § 1473.5); requiring the parole board to give specialized consideration to a history of battering at parole hearings (AB 1593 amending Penal Code § 4801); creating a process for juveniles sentenced to life without parole to petition for a resentencing hearing (SB 9 amending Penal Code § 1170(d)); creating the Youth Offender Parole Hearing process (SB 260 and SB 261 amending Penal Code §§ 3051 and 4801); and revising the fitness criteria for juveniles to be transferred to adult court (SB 382 amending Penal Code § 1170.17 and Welfare and Institutions Code § 707).
Prior to joining the USC Gould faculty, Rummel served in the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles from 1996-2005 prosecuting federal criminal civil rights offenses, including human trafficking, police misconduct, and hate crimes. She also prosecuted gang crimes, arson cases, and child pornography offenses, and served as deputy chief in the General Crimes Section. Previously, Rummel was an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, where she handled state court prosecutions and appellate matters.
Rummel teaches a post-conviction clinical seminar, Legislative Policy Practicum, Criminal Law, Legal Analysis of Evidence, and Trial Advocacy.
Rummel holds a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with highest honors and a JD from the University of Chicago with honors. She clerked for the Honorable Thomas Penfield Jackson of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
Last Updated: Tuesday, February 7, 2017