Published On: Mon, Jul 19th, 2021

California Senate Votes to Soften ‘Felony Murder Rule’

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California senators have voted to support legislation that would allow judges more discretion when sentencing criminals convicted of aiding and abetting murder, despite a 31 percent statewide spike in homicide rates. Senate Bill 300 (SB 300), the Sentencing Reform Act of 2021, would change California’s “felony murder rule” by removing the requirement that judges must sentence anyone convicted of aiding and abetting murder to life without the possibility of parole. Several Democratic senators pushed for the bill to be passed on the Senate floor on July 15, drawing the ire of Republican Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama). He argued that life without the possibility of parole is a just sentence for anyone aiding and abetting murder “because of the heinousness of the crime.” “This is about justice, and justice includes the victims,” Nielsen said. “If you want to go talk to somebody, go talk to the victims, the mother, the father, …

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