PRESS RELEASE: Hundreds Rally in Sacramento to End Life Without Parole Sentencing
DATE: Monday, August 22, 2022
LOCATION: West Steps of the California State Capitol Building (1315 10th St., Sacramento, CA 95814)
SACRAMENTO, CA––The Drop LWOP (Life Without Parole) coalition and Families United to End LWOP will hold its second annual rally and lobby day on Monday, August 22, at the California State Capitol to demand an end to LWOP and all forms of extreme sentencing. Hundreds of advocates, including loved ones of people serving LWOP, those formerly sentenced to LWOP, crime survivors and national experts, will join forces to educate lawmakers and the public about this cruel, arbitrary, and racist sentence, and continue urging legislators to pass Senate Bill 300. SB 300, which would reform felony murder special circumstances policies, passed the Assembly Appropriations committee last Thursday, bringing this important legislation one step closer to law.
“LWOP sentences do not make us safer. As a society, we need to divest from a culture of retribution & perpetual punishment and promote transformative justice, rehabilitation & mercy,” said Michelle Tran, Chair of Families United to End LWOP whose husband is currently serving LWOP.
“We cannot address mass incarceration without addressing LWOP, a sentence disproportionately handed out to young people, Black and Brown people, and survivors of domestic violence,” said Chyrl Lamar, advocate with California Coalition for Women Prisoners. “This death sentence deprives people of their hope and basic humanity. I served 34 years before coming home. Governor Newsom could give that same second chance to the over 5,000 people serving LWOP with the stroke of his pen.”
“One thing legislators can do right now is pass Senate Bill 300, a modest reform to the extreme injustice of LWOP. It will ensure that the death penalty and life without parole sentences cannot be imposed on those who did not cause or intend to cause a death during a crime,” said Joanne Scheer, founder and Executive Director of Felony Murder Elimination Project, whose son is currently serving LWOP. Senator Cortese is the author of the bill and will speak at Monday’s rally.
Drop LWOP coalition members will meet with over forty legislative offices throughout the day.
For a full list of supporters and for more information about Drop LWOP, visit this link.