Senator Dave Cortese has sponsored some critical criminal justice reform efforts over the past term, including the current two year bill SB 300 which would allow for people sentenced to LWOP who were not the actual killers to have a chance at parole.
Current California law mandates a sentence of death or life without the possibility of parole (LWOP) for anyone convicted of “murder with special circumstances,” even if the person did not kill anyone, nor intend for anyone to die. Under current law, if a person dies during the course of certain felonies, even if the death is accidental, those who were involved in the felony are subject to these severe punishments regardless of their role in the person’s death or their intent.
“Two-thirds of the people on LWOP are people of color,” he said at a recent rally.
Cortese said, “How heartbreaking it must be for a parent every minute of every day of every week, to know that your child, your child has been sentenced to life without parole.” He said, “When you take away possibility from a human being, you’ve taken everything. That’s all we have is possibility.”
Listen as Senator Cortese talks about this and the future of criminal justice reform, this week on Everyday Injustice.
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