Noting that “life without parole” sentencing robs incarcerated individuals of any rehabilitative hope, is a type of sentencing with a racially discriminatory impact, and is a wasteful use of public resources, we supported legislation which would eliminate this criminal sentence in Rhode Island. Such legislation would ensure that all individuals have the opportunity to come before the parole board for their determination of whether the state’s interest in public safety, rehabilitation, and retribution are met after decades of serving time in prison, and provide that no one is subject to a sentence that is potentially short-sighted and extremely cruel. For similar reasons, we further supported H 6139, which would allow for individuals serving long sentences to request a "second look" and reduction of their sentence after serving ten years.
Ending "Life Without Parole" Sentencing (H 5149)
Representative John Edwards
Held for Further Study