Stop convicted murderers from being released
Keeping our communities safe must always remain our top priority. Monday, the California State Assembly narrowly passed a bill that threatens that safety. That’s why the Los Angeles Police Protective League, which represents over 9,900 LAPD officers, is urging you to contact Governor Jerry Brown and ask him to VETO Senate Bill 9 that will allow convicted first-degree murderers (who have been sentenced to life in prison without parole) the opportunity to have their sentences reduced based solely on their youth.
SB 9 will retroactively provide parole reviews for many convicted murderers sentenced to life without parole because the offenders were age 16 or 17 at the time of their crimes. All of these criminals were convicted of first-degree murder, or multiple murders, with special circumstances. The simple fact is that no criminal received their sentences lightly, without cause or due process, and all enjoyed significant legal protections because of their age.
Under current law, a case involving a juvenile who commits a premeditated first-degree murder goes through several levels of internal and judicial review before a life-without-the-possibility-of-parole sentence can be imposed. Even after a life-without-the-possibility-of-parole sentence is lawfully imposed, the defendant has the right to appeal his/her case.
There are additional safeguards in place to allow specific sentences to be reduced or reversed. The Governor has the power to grant clemency and pardons. In fact, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger commuted Sara Kruzan’s sentence to 25-years-to-life with the possibility of parole - the very inmate who has been used as the “poster child” for various versions of this legislation over the past couple of years. Kruzan was sentenced to life without parole for killing her 37-year-old pimp when she was 16.
A life-without-the-possibility-of-parole sentence is reserved for individuals who have committed the most egregious crimes and show little or no prospect for rehabilitation. Life without the possibility of parole for juveniles who commit premeditated first-degree murders was enacted by a vote of the people of the State of California. SB 9 is an attempt by the legislature to impose its judgment on the people of the State of California even though we have democratically stated the will of the People on this issue.
Analysis shows that SB 9 will cost the California taxpayers millions in added legal costs, and will endanger the public by providing early release to dangerous murderers.
SB 9 is bad for California. Please contact the Governor today and urge him to veto SB 9. The Governor’s number is (916) 445-2841.
We also encourage you to reach out to your Legislators and voice your disapproval with this bill.You can find them at leginfo.ca.gov/yourleg.html
SB 9 is not about ensuring fairness, but rather undermining the strong public safety laws that have kept the worst of the worst behind bars. The California Police Chiefs Association and Crime Victims United oppose this bill because it could give a slap on the wrist to dangerous criminals. California cannot afford to give convicted murderers a get-out-of-jail free card.