Connecticut Parole Board May Grant Clemency to People Convicted at a Young Age

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hartford criminal defense lawyerThe criminal justice system often imposes harsh punishments on people who are convicted of crimes. While certain sentences may seem to be appropriate for those convicted of serious offenses such as murder, they can result in a person spending most of their life in prison, even if they committed these crimes while they were a minor. Advocates for criminal justice reform have noted that scientific research has shown that people’s brains continue developing until they are 25 years old, meaning that offenders who have committed these types of crimes at a young age may not have been fully aware of the consequences of their actions. In recognition of this and as part of ongoing efforts to focus on rehabilitation for those who have been convicted, the Connecticut Board of Pardons and Paroles has begun taking action to reduce the sentences of certain offenders.

Clemency for Murder Convictions in Connecticut

Public Act 15-84, which was passed by the Connecticut legislature in 2015, eliminated sentences of life in prison without parole for people who were convicted of capital murder or arson that was committed when they were under the age of 18. These changes were applied retroactively, and if a person committed an eligible crime before reaching the age of 18, was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison, and was incarcerated after October 1, 2015, they may be eligible for parole. If a person was sentenced to up to 50 years, they may receive a parole hearing after serving either 12 years or 60 percent of their sentence, whichever is greater. Those sentenced to more than 50 years may be eligible for parole after they have served 30 years.

The parole board has begun putting this law into effect, and recently, it held hearings for 11 prisoners who had been convicted of murder or attempted murder based on offenses that were committed while they were under the age of 25. Several of these prisoners received commutations of their sentences, reducing the amount of time that they will be required to serve and allowing them to qualify for release from prison on community supervision.

The board has noted that its goal is to ensure that these prisoners will be able to re-enter the community successfully through supervised release that will provide them with the necessary resources. The prisoners who received shortened sentences have worked to improve themselves during their time in prison, including receiving education and drug treatment, and they have participated in mentorship programs meant to help other young people who have been incarcerated.

Contact Our Connecticut Sentence Modification Lawyer

At Woolf Law Firm, LLC, we can provide legal help to those who have been convicted of crimes and who have worked to pay their debt to society. We work to help convicts determine whether they may qualify for different forms of clemency, including pardons, parole, or supervised release. By providing legal representation in these cases, we can advocate for a person and help them show that they will be able to re-enter the community successfully and avoid criminal activity in the future. To learn more about how we can help with your case, contact our Hartford criminal law attorney at 860-290-8690 and arrange a complimentary consultation.

Sources:

https://ctmirror.org/2022/01/21/parole-board-shortens-sentences-of-11-men-who-committed-crimes-when-they-were-young/

https://www.ct.gov/ctsc/lib/ctsc/Public_Act_15-84.pdf

https://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_970.htm

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