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Assembly Rejects Bill to Shorten Life Sentences for Some Youth Offenders



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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Assembly members debated for an hour about this bill when it came up for a final vote. It would have given inmates who were sentenced to life in prison when they were minors the chance to shorten their sentences. Democratic Senator Leland Yee wrote the bill.
 
“There are a number of kids in our particular prisons, California prisons who really don’t deserve to die in prison.”
 
Yee says people can change, and if they do, they deserve another chance. But there has been strong opposition to the bill since it was first introduced last year. Opponents say only the worst offenders are sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, and that releasing them would threaten public safety. Republican Assemblyman Jim Nielsen says it would also be offensive to the victims’ families.
 
“The only thing they can cling to is that the one who did it is serving a just sentence. And life without possibility of parole for those kinds of crimes, are just.”
 
Yee says he hopes the bill is reconsidered. If not, he says he’ll continue to push for it through the courts.
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