|Image from Flickr, by takomabibelot|
The U.S. is the only nation in the world that sentences juveniles to life in prison without the possibility of parole. California has 309 juveniles serving such life sentences, more than any other state. Many of these youths were found guilty of crimes committed with adults, yet the adults received lighter sentences.
A new bill that would give juvenile lifers a second lease on life recently passed the California Assembly. Under the legislation, sponsored by Leland Yee, of San Francisco, juveniles sentenced to life without parole, who have served 15 or more years with good behavior and who have shown remorse, can have their sentences reduced to 25 years to life and ultimately the opportunity for parole. The bill still must pass the state senate, but passage is expected, according the Huffington Post.