RI Senate Considers Legislation To Eliminate Life Sentences For Minors

Jun 14, 2017

The Rhode Island Senate is considering legislation that would eliminate life sentences without possibility of parole for minors.

"Long sentences on a person that’s under 18 constitutes, in our view, and in the view of the Supreme Court and many other ACLU affiliates, as unusual punishment and violates basic human rights standards," said Marcela Betancur, a spokeswoman for the Rhode Island American Civil Liberties Union.

17 states have similar laws, including neighboring Massachusetts and Connecticut. Rhode Island’s Attorney General opposes the measure, saying the punishment should be available for prosecuting the most violent offenders.