There are currently four bills working toward ending LWOP.
An Act to Reduce Mass Incarceration would grant all individuals who have served 25 years of their life sentence to have a parole hearing. The bill would include currently incarcerated people to end the growing aging population in prisons. Read Mass. Bill H.1797
Second Look Legislation would permit incarcerated individuals an opportunity for resentencing or a sentence reduction after serving a certain amount of time in prison. As of November 2022, 66% of the federal prison population was 36 years old or older, and 20% were over the age of 50. It would allow those who have “aged out” of crime to no longer serve far longer sentences than they would anywhere else in the world. The below infographic offers a general overview but the language has not been finalized.
The Elder Parole Bill works to stop prisons from acting as nursing homes. The new bill permits inmates aged 55 and older a chance for parole, regardless of their crime, after at least 15 years of their sentence. Data show that people over the age of 50 are very unlikely to return to prison for new crimes. Read Mass Bill H.2397
Joint Venture: There are prisoners serving LWOP in Massachusetts who have never actually killed anyone. They were sentenced for the remainder of their lives because they had been convicted as joint venturers. It demonstrates the unfairness in the criminal justice system, especially in cases where a shooter pleads to a lesser sentence while an accomplice receives an LWOP sentence. The language of the bill has not let been finalized, but read more news about Joint Venture here.
This is how the legislation can help LWOP.
Legislation Can Help End LWOP