We recently learned that House Bills 4518 and 4594-4596 were introduced March 5, 2009 in the Michigan Senate, and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee the same day, 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.
A House Judiciary Committee hearing is expected to be held on these bills during the month of April 2009. We will post the date and any additional information here as we learn it.
You can view or download the package of bills or individual bills in PDF format below.
Click here to view or download the entire package of bills.
Click here to view House Bill 4518.
Click here to view House Bill 4594.
Click here to view House Bill 4595.
Click here to view House Bill 4596.
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.