Juvenile Life Without Parole

NACDL supported legislation to end juvenile life without parole sentences in Maryland.

In 2016, the Maryland General Assembly considered SB 259, legislation to abolish life without the possibility of parole for all youth. NACDL issued a legislative action alert asking members to urge their Senators to vote yes on the bill. Unfortunately, SB 259 failed to advance out of committee. 

During the 2021 regular session, the Maryland Legislature passed the Juvenile Restoration Act (SB 494), which prohibits life without parole for juveniles and allows an individual who was convicted as an adult for an offense committed when the individual was under 18 years old to file a motion for sentence reduction after being imprisoned for 20 years. On April 10, 2021, the House and Senate voted to override Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of the bill. SB 494 went into effect October 1, 2021.  

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