Friday, December 8, 2017
This is the eighth in a series of posts on the "51-To-Life" Project. In Tennessee, if a juvenile is convicted of first-degree murder, there are two sentencing options: (1) life without the possibility of parole; or (2) life with the possibility of parole, with that possibility only existing after the juvenile has been incarcerated for 51 years. In this post, I will explain why Delaware treats juvenile homicide offenders better than Tennessee.
According to this article,
After the U.S. Supreme Court's 2012 ruling, the Delaware General Assembly revised Delaware's sentencing laws in 2013. Lawmakers mandated a minimum sentence of at least 25 years for anyone convicted of first-degree murder for an offense committed as a juvenile. Life without parole also remains an option for juveniles who commit murder in Delaware, but they are entitled to petition for a sentence review after serving 30 years.
Therefore, juvenile homicide offenders can be eligible for parole after serving 30 years in Delaware vs. 51 years in Tennessee. As a result, Delaware treats juvenile homicide defenders better than Tennessee.