Short by five votes, the measure to allow juveniles serving life without parole to have their sentences reviewed by a judge after fifteen years failed in the Assembly. The Huffington Post reports (complete with links):
[T]the United States is the only country that sends people under 18 to prison for life with no parole. "No other country sentences kids to die in prison," said Yee's chief of staff, Adam Keigwin. In California, juvenile offenders are ineligible for a death penalty sentence, but they can be sentenced to life with no parole, guaranteeing that they will die in prison. SB9 aimed to change that by offering a chance to appeal if a defendant served a minimum of 25 years and showed remorse and serious change.
The arguments against the bill were victim-centered. For various reasons we explained in an earlier post, this is political rhetoric more than realistic concern. What a disappointment, albeit not as great as the disappointment over the demise of the death penalty abolition bill. Overall, a disappointing week for Californian criminal justice.