Friday, 18 February 2011

Committee advances bill on juveniles sentenced to life

A bill that would allow juveniles convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole to petition for a sentence reduction was advanced Thursday by the Judiciary Committee.
The bill (LB202), by Sen. Brenda Council of Omaha, would permit such youths to petition the state Board of Pardons for a commutation of their sentences after 20 years in prison.
It would create an intense, three-part review process that would result in the possibility of a lesser sentence for an offender who has matured and proved himself or herself to have changed, among other things.
The committee voted 6-0 to advance the measure for debate by the Legislature.
Council said there is significant scientific evidence that the thought processes of minors are significantly different from those of adults.
Life in prison without parole means a denial of hope, Council said.

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