Bill gives some California teenage murder criminals chance for parole

Will not apply to those who threaten public safety

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Criminals serving long prison sentences for offenses they committed as teenagers would have an earlier chance for freedom under a bill working its way through the California Legislature.

The bill by Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, expands on legislation signed into law last year that gives a second chance to inmates who committed murder before they turned 18 and were sentenced to life without parole.

Hancock's bill, which passed the Senate and is moving through the Assembly, covers other offenders and requires the Board of Parole Hearings to give "great weight to the diminished culpability of juveniles."

Under SB260, inmates who committed such crimes as voluntary and involuntary manslaughter as teenagers would be presumed eligible for parole after 15 years unless officials believe they present a threat to public safety.

 

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