Senate Bill 94, SB 94: Pre-1990 Judicial Review, authored by Senator Cortese would allow judges to review life-without-parole (LWOP) for people who meet both criteria of whose commitment offense occurred before June 5, 1990 and have been incarcerated for at least 25 years. SB 94 aims to reach a population locked into extreme sentences from decades ago that are inconsistent with our present-day sentencing practices, taking mitigating factors into account like intimate partner violence, intellectual disabilities, and childhood trauma.
Why we support SB 94:
- Senate Bill 94 is a modest reform that allows judges to give a fresh look at sentences that are at least 25 years old.
- SB 94 follows a clear three-step path of rigorous evaluation: judicial discretion, parole hearings, and the Governor’s review. At every step of the way, we focus on public safety.
- SB 94 restores hope. It will provide incarcerated people with an incentive to participate in rehabilitative programming.
Support SB 94
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- SB94 by Senator Dave Cortese would allow judges to review life-without-parole (LWOP) sentences for people whose cases occurred prior to June 6, 1990. Yes on #SB94 by @SenDaveCortese! Toolkit: bit.ly/SB94Toolkit Click to Tweet
- Sentencing someone to die in prison is unheard of in much of the world, yet it’s common practice in California. #SB94 by @SenDaveCortese is a common sense reform that would allow judges to review decades old sentences. YES on SB94! Click to Tweet
Contact your legislator directly to express your support for Senate Bill 94
- Contact your Assemblymember to confirm their support. Below you will find a sample script that you can use. To find the phone number for your California Assemblymember, please look here: https://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/.
- Script: “Hi, my name is [NAME], and I live in [CITY or COUNTY]. Please ask my Assemblymember to vote for SB 94 by Senator Cortese. The bill is a modest reform that will allow judges to have a fresh look at sentences that are at least 25 years old. I support SB 94 because it restores hope, and it gives people a chance to prove that they have redeemed themselves. There are three steps — court review, the parole board, and the Governor’s office — would all have to support release, but only if they believe it is just and it is safe. Thank you.
SB 94 is co-sponsored by Felony Murder Elimination Project, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Families United to End LWOP (FUEL), California Coalition for Women Prisoners, Sister Warriors Freedom Coalition, Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC), Center for Employment Opportunities, Drop LWOP Coalition and Families Against Mandatory Minimums.