Maryland is the 25th state in addition to Washington, D.C., to bar life sentences to children without parole. With the vote, hundreds of people will have an opportunity for earlier release. 

In this Appeal article shared below, the author write ” The legislation, Senate Bill 494, known as the Juvenile Restoration Act, applies retroactively. It allows anyone who has served at least 20 years for a crime that occured when they were a minor to petition the court for a sentence reduction, including if they were sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. The court then must hold a hearing where a judge should consider a number of factors, including the offense, evidence of rehabilitation, childhood trauma, and victim statements. A person whose petition is denied can request a hearing two more times, three years apart.”

In Maryland, the overwhelming majority of children tried as adults are Black, according to the state’s racial impact analysis of SB 494. From July to December 2019, more than 80 percent of the 459 children charged as adults were Black. 

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