Life-without-parole bill lands on governor's desk

Date of Alert: 
Friday, August 24, 2012


Life-without-parole bill lands on governor's desk


08-20) 17:46 PDT Sacramento -- A bill to let prisoners appeal lifetime sentences they received for crimes committed when they were juveniles is now in the governor's hands.

Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, has been pushing the bill for three years but only last week succeeded in getting enough backing in the state Assembly, after amending SB9 to exempt offenders convicted of torture or of killing law enforcement officials.

The state Senate, which passed the bill last August, approved those changes Monday on a party line vote, 21-16, with no Republican support. It now heads to Brown, who has not taken a public position, for consideration.

While GOP Senators such as Joel Anderson, of La Mesa, said the measure would result in the "release of little psychopaths," Democrats argued it was about a belief in redemption.

If signed by Brown, SB9 would eventually let about 300 inmates sentenced as juveniles to life without the possibility of parole to ask the courts for a 25-year-to life sentence. The offenders would have to serve at least 15 years and would have to demonstrate remorse.

-Marisa Lagos


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