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Cal. JLWOP Attack Back Again

California State Senator Leland Yee is back with his persistent attempts to ensure that the families of victims of under-18 murderers can never rest assured that the murderer will not be released.  The bill is numbered SB 9 this year, and the legislative web site indicates it is set for hearing April 5 in the Senate "Public Safety" Committee.  I put the name in quotes because the committee is badly stacked to ensure that public safety gets short shrift.

The bill is unnecessary, because sentencing judges in California always have discretion to allow a possibility of parole for under-18 criminals.  The only ones sentenced to life-without-parole are those that the trial judge has determined must never be released.  For the rare prisoner who actually does make a complete turnaround in prison, there is always executive clemency.

See the Heritage Foundation report on this issue here.

NOVJL's opposition letter is here.

BTW, the existence of this campaign conclusively disproves the anti-death-penalty crowd's claim that life "with absolutely no possibility of parole" is an alternative to the death penalty.  If the death penalty is removed as an option on Tuesday, the campaign to abolish LWOP begins Wednesday.  We have already seen it with the 17-year-old murderers.


Abolitionists simply are not being up front with us when they talk about imprisonment with NO chance of parole. This is demonstrated, not only by the current attempts in the legislature, but even more by understanding the emotive wellsprings of the abolitionist movement.

The single most important element in abolitionist motivation is the belief that society is too harsh and the killer is himself a victim. You can see this just by reading what defense lawyers say all the time in capital sentencing memos.

With that belief as the anchor, OF COURSE they don't really mean it when they say "never." That is just a tactical ploy in the present, anti-DP struggle. Real LWOP is, in the abolitionist worldview, something that a fair and decent system could never impose on the socially deprived and downtrodden.

Ladies and gentlemen, they don't believe in punishment AT ALL, not in the sense that normal people would understand. They're lying. There is, unfortunately, not a whole lot more to it than that.

Yee is a cruel SOB.

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