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Friday, March 16, 2012


What happened to Senate Bill 399?
Senate Bill 399 Bill
The California Fair Sentences for Youth Act was introduced by Senator Yee, and co-authored by Senator Romero, Senate Speaker Steinberg, Assembly Members Fuentes and Hill, and Assembly Speaker J. Pérez. Senate Bill 399 would have permitted youth who had been sentenced to life without the possibility of parole to petition for a resentencing hearing. It passed in the Senate, and passed each committee in the State Assembly, but failed in its final vote on August 30, 2010. 39 voted yes for SB399, although when it became clear it would not reach the needed 41 votes to pass, six Assembly Members changed their votes and abstained.

The bill recognized that all young people, even those serving life sentences, have the capacity to change for the better and should have access to the rehabilitative tools to do so. This Act would have provided an opportunity for review and resentencing after 15 years or more of incarceration for youth sentenced to life without parole in prison. Recognizing that teenagers are still maturing, this Act created specific criteria and an intense, three-part review process that would result in the possibility of a lesser sentence for those offenders who have matured and proven themselves to have changed.




Ammiano Bass Beall Blumenfield

Bradford Brownley Coto Davis

De La Torre De Leon Eng Evans

Feuer Fong Fuentes Furutani

Gatto Hall Hayashi Hernandez

Hill Huffman Jones B. Lowenthal

Monning Ruskin Saldana Skinner

Swanson Torlakson Torrico Yamada

J. Perez


(Bolded name indicates the Member first voted yes, but then abstained when the bill failed to get the 41 votes needed to pass.)

C. Calderon Carter Chesbro Galgiani

Mendoza M. Pérez Salas


Adams Anderson Arambula B. Berryhill

T. Berryhill Block Buchanan Caballero

Conway Cook DeVore Fletcher

Fuller Gaines Garrick Gilmore

Hagman Harkey Huber Jeffries

Knight Lieu Logue Ma

Miller Nava Nestande Niello

Nielsen Norby Portantino Silva

Smyth Solorio A. Strickland Torres

Tran Villines

In California, there are approximately four people sentenced to juvenile life without parole for non-homicide cases. The total number of juvenile life without parole cases in California is approximately 273.

Subject: Youth Deserve a Second Chance: We need to pass Senate Bill 9!


Right now, juveniles in California can be sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole. It is a sentence to die in prison. The U.S. is the only country in the world that applies this punishment to youth under the age of 18.

Several hundred teens have been sentenced to life without parole in California. Under the current law, not one of them will ever have the opportunity to demonstrate that they have turned their lives around and can safely re-enter society.

If Senate Bill 9 is enacted, California will set up a strict process for a judge to examine these individuals’ lives when they are older and determine if they are rehabilitated and remorseful. If so, they will then have a chance to earn parole after serving a minimum of 25 years.

We ask our legislators to pass this important bill during the upcoming vote.

That's why I signed a petition to The California State House, which says:

"As a concerned Californian, I urge you to give youth the possibility of a second chance. Please pass Senate Bill 9."

Will you sign this petition? Click here:


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