A note from the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth:
We are excited to share that Utah has banned life without parole for children!
Gov. Gary Herbert signed into law HB 405, which was sponsored by Rep. V. Lowry Snow. Utah is the second state to ban the practice this year, following South Dakota. Sixteen states now ban the sentence.
“As the chief sponsor of Utah’s HB 405, I am pleased that our governor signed this bill into law, effectively eliminating life without parole as a sentencing option for children who commit serious crimes,” said Rep. Snow. “Utah’s criminal justice system has long recognized the fundamental difference between children and adult offenders. Passage of HB 405 is an expression of that important recognition and it provides a clear statement of Utah’s policy regarding the treatment of children placed in custody for serious offenses.”
The CFSY worked closely with Rep. Snow, partners at the Utah Juvenile Defender Resource Center, and other advocates to provide education and information about the need for reform. In addition, Xavier McElrath-Bey, Youth Justice Advocate at the CFSY, testified in legislative hearings, met with policymakers and was featured in newspaper articles
, helping to shift the narrative about children convicted of serious crimes and to spread the message that we are all more than the worst thing we have ever done.
We are making progress, and your partnership makes this work possible. Thank you!