By Tony Franco
What if the rest of your life were determined by a decision you made when you were 16 years old? That scenario is a reality for nearly 300 people in California who have been sentenced to spend the rest of their lives in jail without any opportunity for parole for crimes committed when they were children.
Your California Assembly member will vote - as early as Monday - on the Fair Sentencing for Youth Act (SB 9). Take action today to allow those individuals the opportunity to go before a judge to demonstrate their growth, maturity and rehabilitation and possibly keep them from dying in prison for crimes they committed as children.
Serious crimes committed by children are often brought about by extreme circumstances, such as abusive or neglectful environments that contributed to their crime. Research has shown that a teenager's brain is still developing into their early twenties and that rehabilitation is effective, if given the opportunity.
Activists across the state and country have worked for many years to undo LWOP sentences for juveniles. Let's take one more step together now. Urge your Assembly member to support Fair Sentencing for Youth and prove that Californians believe in second chances.
I want to Thank Clarissa Hermosillo for this information
Clarissa Woo Hermosillo
Director of Policy Advocacy
ACLU American Civil Liberties Union