SB 9 Is Signed into Law Giving Juveniles Serving Life-Without-Parole Sentences A Second Chance

After a long fought legislative battle, on September 30, 2012, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 9 (Yee), which gives some juveniles who received life-without-parole sentences an opportunity for review of their sentences. There are 309 persons serving life-without-parole sentences in California for murders committed when they were younger than 18. SB 9, which goes into effect January 1, 2013, will permit these people to ask judges to reconsider their sentences after they serve at least 15 years in prison. Judges could then reduce the no-parole sentence if the inmate shows remorse and is taking steps toward rehabilitation.

A number of PJDC members were involved in legislative efforts to pass SB 9, most notably Elizabeth Calvin of Human Rights Watch.