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CA Legislature Backing Away from Sentencing and Parole Reform

Two bills which were hailed as steps forward in prison reform either met their death or are now facing almost insurmountable obstacles in the CA legislature.

Sen. Lori Hancock’s bill to end the death penalty was withdrawn after “the votes were not there”, according to Sen. Hancock’s statement. However, it is likely this bill will reappear as a ballot initiative for the voters in 2012.

In addition, a bill to allow for the possibility of parole in offenders who were sentenced to life in prison while they were still children failed to garner the votes  needed to pass. The bill was offered by Senator Leland Yee and sources state it may come up again during this legislative session.

Meanwhile, the “tough on crime” bills continue to steamroll through, including one that requires the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to notify local police departments when a violent felon gets parole.  It is now waiting for Gov. Brown to sign it. While we at ParoleNow don’t have a problem with this bill in theory, we also have great concerns that it will lead to the police targeting these individuals instead of making the presumption that they have rehabilitated.

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