By Patrick McGreevy | Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO — The Senate gave final legislative approval to a measure that would provide a new chance to get out of prison for inmates who committed serious crimes when they were minors and were prosecuted as adults.
The new parole hearing process allows eligible inmates to have their cases reviewed for possible early release as early as 15 years into their prison sentence.
There are more than 6,500 inmates in state prisons who were under the age of 18 when they committed their crimes but prosecuted as adults.
“This bill gives young people hope and incentive to reform, reflect and improve their lives,” said Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), the author of SB 260.
The parole bill was one of dozens sent to Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday…(Full text at Los Angeles Times)
The gist of it
As though anyone save the worst, most incorrigible youths accused of the most heinous of crimes are ever tried as adults, Loni Hancock hopped on her white horse and charged ahead in the name of justice for offenders sentenced to long terms despite “fundamental differences between juveniles and adults, and a juvenile’s diminished culpability as compared to that of an adult.”
Unfortunately, the new law doesn't address the fundamental differences between predators and victims, conflating one with the other. Neither does the required consideration of the offender's “diminished culpability” require consideration of the diminished capacities of victims and survivors resulting from the deeds of the culpability-challenged, erstwhile youthful offender.
Governor Brown, there is no pressing need for the proposed law. These are not wayward Boy Scouts, Governor, they were hardcore punks each and every one–They got what they had coming (in the vernacular of corrections). Veto this bill, Sir.
The following excerpt of the pending, warm-and-fuzzy, victim un-friendly law is submitted for your consideration. The entire bill, including revisions, is inset below as well.-
“The bill would require parole consideration to be given during the 15th year of incarceration if the person meeting these criteria received a determinate sentence, during the 20th year if the person received a sentence that was less than 25 years to life, and during the 25th year of incarceration if the person received a sentence that was 25 years to life. The bill would require the board, in reviewing a prisoner’s suitability for parole, to give great weight to specified mitigating factors, including fundamental differences between juveniles and adults, and a juvenile’s diminished culpability as compared to that of an adult the diminished culpability of juveniles as compared to adults, the hallmark features of youth, and any subsequent growth and increased maturity of the prisoner in accordance with relevant case law. The bill would require that, in assessing growth and maturity, psychological evaluations and risk assessment instruments, if used by the board, be administered by qualified professionals and provide reliable assessment of growth and maturity, and would require that licensed psychologists employed by the board and take into consideration the diminished culpability of juveniles as compared to that of adults, the hallmark features of youth, and any subsequent growth and increased maturity of the individual…
Existing law, also added by Proposition 8, adopted June 8, 1982, and amended by Proposition 36, adopted November 6, 2012, commonly known as the Three Strikes Law, law, requires increased penalties for certain recidivist offenders…This bill would exempt from its provisions inmates who were sentenced pursuant to the Three Strikes law or sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole…”