[UPDATE: The Senate Voting Session (and the vote on S2591/A4372) has been CANCELLED. That means there is still time for the sponsors to amend the bill. Please contact the sponsors, Senator Nellie Pou and Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake and urge them to amend the bills so that they do not apply to inmates who have been sentenced to Life in prison: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org ]
Here we go again.
Problematic legislation [A4372/S2591] that seeks to allow for the re-sentencing and early release of inmates convicted as juveniles–regardless of the severity of their crimes–is once again up for a vote in the NJ legislature on Monday, November 23rd. Both the Senate and the Assembly will host their sessions remotely, via video conference.
This bill has been on the agenda before, and keeps getting pulled–I believe legislators understand how dangerous and deeply flawed these bills are, but in the well-intentioned quest to achieve criminal justice reform, they continue to push through the bills too quickly, rather than take the time necessary to fix them. Bills like this should not be put forth and fast-tracked during a time when public access to the Statehouse is so strictly limited.
A4372 passed the Assembly on July 30th, 47-23-4, but was recently amended by the Senate via a Floor Amendment (which means there was no further public input) on October 29th, to include language that mandates 5 years of parole supervision. Unfortunately, the bill still does not address our concerns about circumventing the Parole Process, and the failure to exempt inmates who have been sentenced to Life in prison from seeking early release under the bill. For these reasons, we strongly oppose A4372/S2591.
Please take a moment to contact your legislators and ask them to VOTE NO on Monday, November 23rd on A4372/S2591. The bills are the agenda for the Senate, but will likely be sent back to the Assembly for concurrence with the floor amendment, so be sure to contact ALL of your reps (Senator & Assemblypersons). You can email them via the Online Correspondence form on the NJ Legislative website, searching by the municipality in which you live, by following this link: https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/SelectMun.asp
To read more details about the bill, see our earlier post here: https://www.keepnjsafe.org/a4372-up-for-a-vote-this-thursday-call-to-action/