Last Friday, Rhode Island Senate voted 36 to 0 to pass a bill that requires offenders receiving non-life terms for first or second degree murder to serve at least half their sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

The bill sponsored by Sen. Leonidas Raptakis (D-Coventry) also requires inmates serving life terms for first or second degree murder to wait a minimum of 30 years before they are eligible for parole.  The current minimum is 20 years.

The bill now awaits action in the House.