Kellen Winslow II, a former NFL player and a tight end with the Cleveland Browns, has been denied his request to have his prison sentence reduced on the basis that physical trauma from his football career contributed to the crimes that put him behind bars for 14 years.
In 2021, Winslow agreed to plead guilty in a negotiated plea deal after being convicted of sex crimes against five women in San Diego County.
Winslow’s argument was that new California criminal justice reforms allowed him to be resentenced, but Superior Court Judge Brad Weinreb ruled against him. Weinreb stated that Winslow’s arguments were not timely and failed on their merits. Weinreb noted that Winslow had agreed to his exact term as bargained for and that the court could not modify the plea as stipulated.
The Case Against Winslow
Winslow’s crimes included raping a homeless woman, pulling his pants down to expose himself to another woman, committing a lewd act against a 77-year-old woman at a local gym, and raping a woman while she was unconscious in 2003. He is currently serving time at a state prison in Tehachapi, California.
Winslow made arguments to the court without an attorney representing him. He cited Assembly Bill 124, which retroactively allows prisoners to be resentenced under certain conditions, such as if they suffered physical trauma or other abuse that might have contributed to their crimes before their arrests. Winslow argued that his brain trauma from football contributed to his crimes, as well as other abuse from his youth.
However, Weinreb said Winslow should have made this argument earlier and that the claim was procedurally barred.
Racial Justice Act
Winslow also cited the California Racial Justice Act, which says the “state shall not seek or obtain a criminal conviction or seek, obtain, or impose a sentence on the basis of race, ethnicity, or national origin.” Winslow, who is Black, said there was racial bias in the selection of his jury at trial. There were no Black people on the jury in his first or second trial, which was canceled when Winslow accepted his plea deal before it started.
Winslow is likely to appeal Weinreb’s ruling and continue his bid to get out of prison earlier. While he awaits the outcome of his appeal, Winslow remains behind bars.
Kellen Winslow II’s attempt to reduce his prison sentence based on physical trauma from his football career was denied by Superior Court Judge Brad Weinreb. Weinreb ruled that Winslow’s arguments weren’t timely and failed on their merits. Winslow is likely to appeal Weinreb’s ruling and continue his bid to get out of prison earlier. While he awaits the outcome of his appeal, Winslow remains behind bars.