About SB 942
All life sentences in Pennsylvania are imposed without the possibility of parole. This means that individuals sentenced to life imprisonment may not be considered for parole, no matter how much they have reformed themselves and no matter how unlikely they are to re-offend. Those sentenced to life without parole in Pennsylvania also have no chance at release when they grow so ill or elderly they pose little to no risk to the public. Not only does this represent an injustice to an individual who is a model inmate despite having no chance at life outside of prison, but it also creates an avoidable expense for the corrections system – and the taxpayers who fund it – by incarcerating individuals longer than necessary.
This legislation, a companion bill to HB 135 introduced by State Representative Jason Dawkins, permits an individual sentenced to life imprisonment under the laws of this Commonwealth to be considered for parole after spending at least 15 years in prison. It also extends parole eligibility retroactively to those sentenced prior to the effective date of the legislation. The bill creates no right to parole, so it will not allow our most dangerous inmates to go free. The Commonwealth’s Board of Probation and Parole will continue to responsibly reject requests for parole from those who do not deserve it, or who present too great a safety risk to the public.
ABOUT SENATOR STREET
As senator, Sharif is committed to improving access to healthcare, reforming our criminal justice system, creating quality jobs, funding our public schools, investing in science and technology and fighting for the rights of all Pennsylvanians.
An attorney by profession, Sharif began his public career as a community activist organizing a Town Watch group while in law school. He graduated cum laude from Morehouse College with a B.A. in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance- and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he served as president of the Penn Law Democrats.