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(California) Bill would let some inmates appeal lifetime terms

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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-17-11 12:38 PM
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(California) Bill would let some inmates appeal lifetime terms
Now, human rights advocates and a state senator are pushing a bill through the Legislature that would let some offenders - juveniles sentenced to life without parole - appeal their lifetime sentences and possibly qualify for parole after serving at least 25 years in prison. Supporters of the bill, SB9, by Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, say juvenile criminals should be treated differently than adults because they are not as good at making decisions and have the capacity to change.

They note research conducted by the University of San Francisco's School of Law that determined that outside of the United States, there are no juveniles convicted of life without parole. They also point out that even in the United States - where such a law exists in 38 states and affects an estimated 2,500 people nationwide - it has begun to fall out of favor.

Regret, rehabilitation

Texas banned juvenile life without parole sentences in 2009; the next year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the sentence violates the Constitution's cruel and unusual punishment clause if it is imposed on a minor for any crime other than murder.

The California measure, which Yee has tried to make law several times before, is not as ambitious: It would let inmates, after 15 years behind bars, petition the court to change their sentence to 25 years to life, with the possibility of parole. That means that even if the court agreed to modify a sentence, there is no guarantee the inmate would get out: The offender would have to wait until 25 years have been served, then could appeal to the state's parole board for release. To request a reduced sentence, the offender would have to "describe his or her remorse" and prove he or she has worked toward rehabilitation.

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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-17-11 02:02 PM
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1. it is up to the governor of california to sign off on the parole board`s decision
there`s a lot of people sitting in california prison`s waiting for the governor to sign the release papers.nothing will change until the governor relinquishes that power.
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