The Truth About Senate Bill 942

The Facts

Senate Bill 942 does not create a right to parole. Public safety is key, and anyone deemed too great a risk to the public, as is customary, will be denied by the Board. Since 2012 over 2000 Convicted Murderers have requested parole in PA, with 1259 denials. (60%). The Board of Probation and Parole will continue to responsibly deny those who pose a risk to the public.

The Strange Reality

The Felony Murder Rule (2nd Degree Murder) in PA charges accomplices/co-conspirators as murderers: anyone present or in the company of someone during a felony that results in a person’s death. This sometimes includes people who had no knowledge a crime was being committed. There are instances, as in the case of George Trudell, when actual murders are released and those in their company are sentenced to a death by incarceration.

Approximately 635 lifers are responsible for no one’s death.

Who Serves Life?

Not all life without parole sentences are for murder or sex crimes.

There are those serving life without parole for more than three instances of violence.

There are also people serving life for repeated drug offenses, in some instances inconsistent with the national affirmation of the disease of addiction in the wake of the opioid crisis.

Battered Women

Lifers in PA also include battered women guilty of killing their attackers at a time (in the 70s and 80s) when courts did not recognize “Battered Women’s Syndrome” as a viable defense. This changed in the nineties, however any abused women convicted in the 70’s and 80’s of killing their attackers are still destined to die behind bars.

What Can You Do About It?

Pass Senate Bill 942.