The Bill is premised on the theory anyone under age 18 (except those convicted of torture or the killing of a law enforcement officer) can obtain what amounts to a “get out of prison card” because juveniles should not be incarcerated for life without parole if they can show rehabilitation. But, it is a slippery slope and eventually the legislature may say the same for adults.
Why keep anyone in prison after 25 years?
Then, should we ask the same question after a convicted felon has spent 20 years in prison?
Is there a sufficient deterrence for rape, robbery, murder, kidnapping and other heinous crimes since there no longer would be life sentences?
What about the adult population in prisons that are over 65, should they be incarcerated any longer?
There are complex issues on all sides of the equation, but interestingly no Republicans supported the Bill. Do these Assembly persons know something about dangerous felons and the theory and purpose of crime?
Perhaps the narrative should be changed and we should give our criminal trial judges more discretion in imposing sentences since they have witnessed the facts of a crime and are a better resource.
The debate continues.
Sam Spital, Criminal Defense Lawyer