Senate Bill 9 is a special interest bill that would allow convicted first-degree murders who have been sentenced to life in prison without parole the opportunity to have their lawfully imposed sentence reduced based solely on their youth.
Under current law, a case involving a juvenile who commits a premeditated first degree murder goes through several levels of internal and judicial review before a life without the possibility of parole sentence can be imposed. Even after a life without the possibility of parole sentence is lawfully imposed, the defendant has the right to appeal their case and to file a writ of habeas corpus petition, which allows for review of the case. In addition, the Governor has the power to grant clemency and pardons.
A life without the possibility of parole sentence is reserved for individuals who have committed the most egregious crimes and show little if no prospect for rehabilitation. Life without the possibility of parole for juveniles was enacted by a vote of the people of the State of California.
SB 9 is an attempt by the legislature to impose its judgment on the people of the State of California even though we have democratically stated the will of the People on this issue.
SB 9 is both expensive and un-necessary. There are currently processes in place that allow convicted felons to ask for review of their case/sentence.
SB 9 does is creates defacto lifer hearings for juveniles who were sentence to life without the possibility of parole.
SB 9 would cause unnecessary pain, emotional and psychological harm to the families of murdered love ones by extending the judicial process and forcing them to relive the crime over and over.
California’s criminal justice system already allows for appeals and filing writs of habeas corpus. SB9 is un-necessary – it duplicates safeguards already in place and will cost the state of California millions of dollars.