We are excited to share that Nevada has abolished life without parole for all children! With one of the most comprehensive bills in the nation, Nevada is the 13th state to eliminate this extreme sentencing practice. The legislature passed the bill unanimously, and Gov. Brian Sandoval signed AB 267 into law on May 26.
Advocacy Director James Dold, Youth Justice Advocate Xavier McElrath-Bey, and members of the Incarcerated Children’s Advocacy Network (ICAN) traveled several times to Nevada this legislative session to educate lawmakers about adolescent brain science and national trends against these extreme sentences. Xavier and ICAN members Mario Taylor, Marcus Dixon, and Traci Rutherford testified in hearings as living testimony, showing that children can change when given a chance.
The coalition to bring this bill to fruition has been strong and diverse, including Democrats, Republicans, victims’ families, formerly incarcerated youth, and prosecutors. This new law retroactively abolishes life-without-parole sentences for all youth, establishes parole review at 15 or 20 years depending on the crime, and requires judges to consider the differences between youth and adult offenders–including the diminished culpability of youth compared to adults and the typical characteristics of youth–whenever sentencing a child in adult court.
This work would not have been possible without support from all of you. Thank you! From the supportive emails to us and the grassroots advocacy calls and emails to legislators, to the financial support and the official supporter outreach, you are what keeps this movement going! Together, we will abolish life-without-parole sentences for children all over the country.