In some cases, the criminal justice system can be conflicting. For example, in the past, California state law was different from federal law when it came to handing down life sentences to minors convicted of murder. Now the two laws conform as California law changed on January 1.
Under a decision set by the U.S. Supreme Court, those under the age of 18 who commit murder cannot be given mandatory life sentences. Now, California is in agreement with this law. In October, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law allowing California inmates the opportunity to leave prison after 25 years if they committed the crimes as juveniles.
Nearly all juveniles would be given a chance at parole unless they are deemed incapable of changing their behavior and reforming. However, lawmakers believe that youth should be given this opportunity because they have the ability to change their ways and make better choices in the future.
Another law would change the age limit of California’s youthful parole program from age 23 to age 25. This means that those who committed crimes when they were under age 25 will be eligible for parole after 15 years in prison. The age was just 18 the first time the law was passed in 2012.
Assembly Bill 1308 and Senate Bill 394 would amend Sections 3051 and 4801 of the Penal Code by changing the ages from 23 to 25. Under Assembly Bill 1308, the Board of Parole Hearings will be required to conduct youth offender parole hearings for those who committed specific crimes when they were under age 25 and sentenced to state prison. The board will be required to complete all youth offender parole hearings for these individuals by January 1, 2020.
Under SB 394, juveniles convicted of homicide cannot be sentenced to life in prison without parole unless there are special circumstances. During the 25th year of incarceration, the juvenile would be eligible for parole by the board at a youth offender parole hearing.
Older prison inmates would get a chance at freedom as well. Inmates who are at least 60 years old and have served 25 or more years in prison would be eligible. This is in an effort to reduce prison overcrowding. Those excluded from this law are cop killers, third-strike criminals, those on death row and those ineligible for parole.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Many of us do stupid things when we’re young and when the act is a crime, it can affect a young person for many years. They may have to spend life in prison for one mistake, and as a result, they spend the best years of their lives behind bars instead of working and contributing to their community.
If you’re still spending time in prison for a crime you committed many years ago when you were a child, seek legal help. The criminal defense lawyers at Manshoory Law Group, APC can help you get considered for parole. To schedule a free case review, contact the team at Manshoory Law Group, APC today at (877) 977-7750.