We previously reported on a United States Supreme Court decision that changed the law for prisoners sentenced as juveniles who weren’t given the chance of parole in their sentence. Now, the California governor has signed a bill that allows inmates sentenced to life without parole in prison as juveniles to ask a judge to reconsider their sentence after they serve at least 15 years in prison.
Law Change for Prisoners with No-Parole Sentence
The change in California law will give prisoners who show remorse and are working towards rehabilitation the opportunity to have their no-parole sentence reduced to 25-years-to-life if a judge agrees. There was opposition to the bill from the state’s law enforcement and victim’s rights agencies, but the bill’s sponsor feels that some people deserve a second chance—particularly when they made bad choices as juveniles.
Kids Keep Growing and Changing as they Mature
Many people realize that kids’ ability to control emotions and impulses grows as they mature. Giving a person who made a serious mistake as a youth another chance may be a good decision. While it’s impossible to know what choices that individual will make in the future, hopefully those people involved in the justice system will be able to identify the inmates with the greatest potential for rehabilitation.
What do you think? We know there are people on both sides of the issue, some who want to lock the door and throw away the key and others who feel people can change. It’s an interesting question, not necessarily easily answered.
Let a Utah Juvenile Defense Attorney Help Your Child
One thing is for certain: if you have a child who’s become involved in the juvenile justice system, don’t wait to contact a Utah juvenile defense attorney. Sometimes there are things that can be done before a child’s case becomes so serious that he is in adult prison—or even juvenile detention. Let an attorney be your child’s advocate with law enforcement and the court. It may make all the difference to you and your child.