The California Supreme Court and state lawmakers say current state law violates recent rulings by the nation’s high court limiting life sentences for teenagers convicted of murder.
The U.S. Supreme Court bans mandatory life-without-parole sentences for those under 18 convicted of murder. The court made the ruling retroactive last year for more than 2,000 offenders nationwide.
California allows juvenile lifers to ask a judge for reduced sentences of 25 years to life with the possibility of parole. But California’s justices ruled last year that it fails to meet the Supreme Court’s decisions because offenders aren’t guaranteed a hearing.
A proposed new state law would automatically give youthful offenders a chance at parole after 25 years.
The Associated Press found that the life-without-parole penalty is disproportionately imposed on California’s black youths.