Supporting Our loved Ones Group
I am writing this letter in support of SB 114. I am very much in favor of this Bill, as I
believe it will give all juveniles who were sentenced as an adult an opportunity
for discretionary parole.
If this Bill would have been in effect two years ago, maybe my husband would have met the criteria for discretionary parole at that time. I believe that when a set off has been given that is longer than five years, it diminishes the hope of your loved one. My husband is just such an inmate. No one disputes the seriousness of his crime, including my husband, but what really bothers him and I is no one ever spoke about his meditations that he had on two separate occasions with the victims' daughters and what an impact that it made in their lives as well as his. He remains close to the one daughter that is still here. She was instrumental in many aspects of my husband's life. Through that mediation he has remained close to her as I have myself. She even attended our wedding at Spring Creek Correctional Center.
The crime he committed when he was 18 years old has changed his life forevermore. The seriousness of his crime never diminishes in his mind. I just wish that when becoming eligible for discretionary parole, that an inmate is looked at with what he or she has done to change their lives over the course of their incarceration. This Bill would allow such inmates a fair chance at parole because it realizes they were still juveniles and there is certainly a chance to still change one’s life. Studies have shown that the mind of an adolescent is not fully developed until they are in their late 20’s. It seems totally reasonable to give someone incarcerated as a juvenile more grace if their conduct in prison warrants that.
No doubt the parole hearing should be an assessment of whether an individual can function outside of prison and if he or she has developed responsibility and an attitude that merits this opportunity. Yet, I also think the young age at which the crime is done should also merit a closer look at any changed behavior in the individual. We all face the consequences of our actions. However, acknowledging the immature age of the perpetrator is certainly a just consideration.
Please pass SB 114.
Thank you for your time,