Should there be exceptions to judgments for life without parole if the offender is a juvenile? In an op-ed piece in the San Diego Union-Tribune, Justice Fellowship President Pat Nolan and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich argue that such incarceration is unjust, is an unwise use of taxpayer funds, and fails to make society safer.
“We are conservative Republicans,” the commentary says, “and we believe that some people are so dangerous that we must separate them from our communities. That is what prisons are for. But sometimes we overuse our institutions. California’s teen [life sentence without parole] is an overuse of incarceration. It denies the reality that young people often change for the better. And it denies hope to those sentenced under it.”
Nolan and Gingrich urge California Governor Jerry Brown to sign Senate Bill 9, which seeks to amend the existing sentencing section of the state’s penal code.
To read the full commentary, click here.