Capitol Weekly (15.05.2017): Life without parole: Reforms target youthful offenders

New legislation to overhaul California’s youth criminal justice system includes a key provision that could curb life-without-parole sentences for juvenile offenders. Senate Bill 394 makes inmates eligible for a parole hearing after 25 years of incarceration if they were sentenced to life without parole when they were under the age of 18.

“We introduced the package based on the belief that juvenile offenders, as well as young people across the state, aren’t pint-sized adults,” said bill co-author Sen. Holly Mitchell. “How we treat them in a system that is supposed to reform and support, needs to be different than what we’re doing today.” The bill also is co-authored by Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens.

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