House Hears Bill on Early Parole for Geriatric Inmates

The House Special Committee on Criminal Justice this week held a hearing on HB 277, which  would allow for some geriatric inmates to get a parole hearing. Sponsored by Rep. Tom Hannegan (R-St. Charles), the bill only applies to inmates who received a sentence of life plus 50 years without parole. In 1985, the law was changed to allow persons receiving a life sentence to be eligible for parole after serving 30 years, rather than 50. Those individuals sentenced before 1985 remained ineligible for parole until they served at least 50 years. The Department of Corrections estimates that about 54 elderly offenders would fall into this category.

The MCC supported the bill, testifying that the bill would correct a discrepancy in our criminal code and bring some balance to our sentencing structure. It would also save state resources spent on health care for these individuals. The committee took no action on the bill.

February 15, 2021 - 8:21am
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