New Mexico Governor Signs Bill Removing Life Sentence for Juveniles Without Parole


New Mexico Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill on Friday that would stop sentencing juvenile offenders to life in prison without the right to parole.

Under SB64Under the Juvenile Life Sentence Waiver Act, offenders who committed crimes under the age of 18 and received a life sentence will be eligible for parole hearings 15 to 25 years after sentencing, depending on the conviction. state legislature website.

The law also covers minors who have been convicted of first-degree murder, even if they were tried as adults. Under the bill, if any juvenile offender is denied parole, they “will be entitled to a parole hearing at two-year intervals.”

New Mexico joins a host of states that have adopted similar penalties after 2021 Supreme Court decision this made it easier to sentence those who committed their crimes under the age of 18 to life imprisonment without parole.

“When kids commit serious crimes, they should be held accountable, but they shouldn’t spend their entire lives in jail with no chance of redemption,” the Democratic state senator said. Cristina Ortez, one of the sponsors of the bill, in facebook post.

But state lawmakers say the bill would allow juvenile offenders to get away with serious crimes.

Republican State Representative John Block introduced an amendment to exclude perpetrators of the mass shootings, which was not included in the final text. said on twitter. Other amendments proposed by the Republicans, which Blok said were also not taken into account, were an increase in parole terms and the exclusion of rapists.

Law passed The state Senate at the end of February was bipartisan and passed the House of Representatives earlier this week along party lines.

Illinois a law was also passed last month to ban the sentencing of juveniles to life imprisonment without parole. At least 24 other states and Washington DC have similar laws. Youth Fair Judgment Campaignnon-profit advocacy organization.

In recent years, this issue has been brought to the center of national attention as a result of several state laws and Supreme Court rulings.

The Supreme Court’s April 2021 decision overturned its 2012 ruling that such sentences violated the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment. In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution prohibits life imprisonment without parole for offenders under the age of 18 who have committed crimes other than murder.