State House Passes Juvenile Sentencing Bill
Published April 2nd, 2014
GAINESVILLE-The State House passed a bill yesterday giving juveniles who commit violent crimes the chance to avoid mandatory life sentences
HB-7035 passed unanimously and allows judges to impose life sentences but only after reviewing certain factors like individual maturity and seriousness of the crimes.
Experts say that juvenile brains and though processes are very different from adults.
Psychiatrist, Dr. Elias Sarkis explains the differences, "teenagers have much more intense emotions, they're unable to calculate risks, they fairly dramatic when compared to ten years later."
The US Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that mandatory life sentences for juveniles are cruel and unusual.
The Senate version of the bill SB 384 is on the agenda for Thursday
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