Youth can change, grow
Re “Bill that would allow resentencing in heinous juvenile crimes is flawed” (Viewpoints, Aug. 21): Margaret Bengs’ viewpoint dismisses the special capacity of youths to change and grow. As a former federal prosecutor, I understand well the impact of violence on our communities. Serious crimes demand serious punishment, but at the same time, our justice system should encourage and reward meaningful rehabilitation. Senate Bill 9 is a sensible bill that does just that.
SB 9 is modest reform
Margaret Bengs misleadingly portrays a carefully crafted, modest reform. As someone who served as a prosecutor for 15 years, I am convinced that Senate Bill 9 is balanced and fair and that the California Assembly should pass it.
SB 9 will create a mechanism enabling youths sentenced to life without parole to prove their remorse and rehabilitation later in life and petition for a new sentence of no less than 25 years. It holds youths accountable for the harm they have caused while reflecting the undisputed body of science proving that children have a greater capacity to grow and change.