We just learned that Senate Bills 173-176 were introduced January 29, 2009 in the Michigan Senate, and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 3, 2009, in an effort to abolish juvenile life without parole (LWOP) sentences in Michigan. Below are links for you to download and/or view the package of bills.
You will recall that 2008 House Bills 4402-4405 were passed overwhelmingly in the Michigan House on December 4, 2008. The bills were not, however, voted on in the Senate and 2009 versions of the bills had to be reintroduced.
You are encouraged to circulate this link to people of conscience in your network who are opposed to human rights violations being perpetrated against the nation's children — our most vulnerable population.
You are also asked to visit the two blog post links that appear at the end of this message which call on you to contact our state legislators and ask them to pass this legislation. Now that we know the bill numbers people can include this information in their letters to legislators.
Please remember, if passed, the bills will not release a single prisoner. They will only provide them with the opportunity to be reviewed by the Parole Board for possible release. The bills do not abandon the concept of redemption. In fact, they seek to re-infuse it into the existing system.
These bills are very important to Efrén's life and future, and to 330+ others who were sentenced to LWOP when they were juveniles as well.
Click here to download all four bills in PDF format.
Click here to view Senate Bill 173.
Click here to view Senate Bill 174.
Click here to view Senate Bill 175.
Click here to view Senate Bill 176.
Click here to view Helen's message calling on people to contact their legislators to encourage them to abolish juvenile LWOP sentences in Michigan and how to do so.
Click here to view Efrén's message calling on people to contact their legislators to encourage them to abolish juvenile LWOP sentences in Michigan.