Senate Votes to Eliminate Juvenile Life Without Parole

LPA Rally - 2Young4LifeThe Louisiana Youth Justice Coalition is one step closer to abolishing juvenile life without parole in our state!

On Wednesday, the Louisiana Senate approved a bill that would end the practice of sentencing children to die in prison.  According to SB 16, any child sentenced to life in prison will have the opportunity to appear before the parole board after serving 25 years in prison and completing a series of requirements.

The rule applies both to new cases, as well as to the 300 men and women who were sentenced to life without parole as children.  If passed, the bill will make Louisiana the 20th state to abolish this sentence.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Dan Claitor, was amended by Senator Danny Martiny to close a loophole allowing for the continued use and abuse of juvenile life without parole sentences.  The approved amendment also lowered the proposed number of years before parole eligibility from 30 to 25 years.

“Today is an exciting day for Louisiana,” said Aaron Clark-Rizzio, Executive Director of the Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights.

“With this vote, the Senate has decided to end death-in-prison sentences for children once and for all – a decision that will bring us into full compliance with the Supreme Court’s rulings and finally provide clarity in the court’s and people’s lives.  We urge the House to now put this issue to rest.”

We thank everyone who reached out to their senators in support of this measure.  Please continue to make your voice heard as the bill heads to the House!  Read more in the Advocate.