Tarr, Victims’ Families to Speak with Press Regarding a Juvenile Parole Bill Prior to Wednesday’s Judiciary Hearing
Boston- Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) will be joining with the families of victims Beth Brodie, Janet Downing, Amy Carnevale, Lewis Jennings, and Bonnie Sue Mitchell tomorrow, May 13th to discuss S. 2008, An Act relative to juvenile life with parole, which is being heard during tomorrow’s Joint Committee on the Judiciary hearing. The 32 co-sponsors of the bill have also been invited to attend tomorrow’s media availability.
Who: Senator Tarr and several families of victims.
What: To speak on behalf of S.2008.
Where: Outside of Hearing Room A-1 of the State House.
When: Wednesday, May 14th, at 12:00pm.
With the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Alabama v. Miller (2012) and Massachusetts Supreme Court rulings in Diatchenko v. District Attorney and Commonwealth v. Brown (2013), the Massachusetts Courts can no longer sentence juveniles convicted of first degree murder with life without parole, reasoning that such a sentence is cruel and unusual punishment.
The retroactive rulings now require parole eligibility for those juveniles convicted of first degree murder at 15-25 years after the conviction, which is the same for an individual who has been convicted of second degree murder. Senate bill 2008 would make parole eligible to juveniles serving life sentences at 35 years after conviction and ensure that the parole board considers factors recognized by the Courts as necessary to safeguard a proportional sentence.
* S.2008 was filed by Senator Tarr and is co-sponsored by 32 other Massachusetts legislators. A copy of the bill’s text and a section-by-section summary is attached.