Taking a stand for someone behind bars is never an easy thing to do, but if we are going to grow as a society we must not only be human, but also humane. That is, we must be sensitive to the suffering of our neighbors regardless of their station in life. I believe we as a society must be humane to the degree it takes to care for the lives of those who have been rejected or marginalized by society.
When I became aware of SB9 and the reasonable, moderate response it offered to convicted youth who had been sentenced to life without the chance of parole, I had no choice but to take a stand. If Governor Jerry Brown signs SB9 into law, there will be a chance for progress, a chance for hope. If SB9 becomes law, those individuals who were sentenced to live the remainder of their lives in prison will have the chance, albeit a small one, to truly show that they have been reformed and can once again contribute to society.
To support the passage of SB9 does not disregard the pain and suffering of the friends and families of the victims of these tragic crimes. Those who perpetrated these crimes should pay their debt to society, and in the same spirit of empathy we must do our very best to offer sincere justice. In the aftermath of such horrific events, I've heard it said that, "nothing good can ever come from something like this." If our current sentencing system for youth remains unchanged, nothing ever will.