Juvenile offenders; eligibility for parole. (SB103)

Introduced By

Sen. Dave Marsden (D-Burke) with support from co-patron Del. Kaye Kory (D-Falls Church)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Juvenile offenders; parole. Provides that any person sentenced to a term of life imprisonment for a single felony offense or multiple felony offenses committed while that person was a juvenile and who has served at least 20 years of such sentence and any person who has active sentences that total more than 20 years for a single felony offense or multiple felony offenses committed while that person was a juvenile and who has served at least 20 years of such sentences shall be eligible for parole. This bill is identical to HB 35. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


12/05/2019Referred to Committee on Rehabilitation and Social Services
12/05/2019Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
12/05/2019Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/20 20100929D
12/05/2019Referred to Committee on the Judiciary
12/05/2019Introduced bill reprinted 20100929D
01/08/2020Moved from Courts of Justice to Judiciary due to a change of the committee name
01/15/2020Reported from Judiciary (11-Y 2-N) (see vote tally)
01/17/2020Constitutional reading dispensed (38-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/20/2020Read second time and engrossed
01/21/2020Read third time and passed Senate (29-Y 10-N) (see vote tally)
02/18/2020Placed on Calendar
02/18/2020Read first time
02/18/2020Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/21/2020Impact statement from DPB (SB103)
02/24/2020Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (12-Y 9-N) (see vote tally)
02/24/2020Committee substitute printed 20109029D-H1
02/26/2020Read second time
02/27/2020Impact statement from DPB (SB103H1)
02/27/2020Read third time
02/27/2020Passed by temporarily
02/27/2020Committee substitute agreed to 20109029D-H1
02/27/2020Engrossed by House - committee substitute SB103H1
02/27/2020Passed House with substitute (55-Y 44-N)
02/27/2020VOTE: Passage (55-Y 44-N) (see vote tally)
03/02/2020House substitute agreed to by Senate (26-Y 14-N) (see vote tally)
03/02/2020Title replaced 20109029D-H1
03/06/2020Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB103ER)
03/06/2020Impact statement from DPB (SB103ER)
03/06/2020Signed by President
03/06/2020Signed by Speaker
03/12/2020Enrolled Bill Communicated to Governor on March 12, 2020
03/12/2020G Governor's Action Deadline 11:59 p.m., April 11, 2020
03/31/2020G Approved by Governor-Chapter 529 (effective 7/1/20)
03/31/2020G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0529)


Fred Woehrle writes:

20 years is too short a time for Class 1 offenders to spend in prison, such as serial killers, and rapists who murder a woman after abducting, raping, and torturing her. Such offenders should have to spend at least 30 years in prison before being eligible for parole -- even if they committed the crime at age 16 or 17. Yet this legislation would let such offenders seek parole.

An earlier version of this legislation, SB 1053, made such offenders eligible for parole in 25 years, not a mere 20 years. Parole eligibility after 25 years was more than sufficient to give juveniles the meaningful opportunity for parole arguably mandated by Montgomery v. Louisiana. That legislation nearly passed a committee in 2019, dying on a tie vote. Due to changes in the composition of the state legislature since then, this bill, unfortunately, may well be enacted.

Class 1 offenders, such as serial killers and people who abduct people to rape and murder them, are less likely to "age out" of crime than other offenders. They are likely to remain a threat to human life even after 20 years in prison. So public safety dictates that they remain in prison. Yet this bill would let them seek release, undermining public safety. So this bill should be voted down or vetoed if it passes the legislature.

Kufu Zulu writes:

Parole is discretionary not mandatory. So a serial killer would not just be released. The Parole Board has checks and balances to insure serial killers, or those juveniles that has not been properly rehabilitated to be held longer then there 20 year parole eligibility. Virginia parole board only release up to 12% of offenders that are eligible. So it is unlikely that high profiled offenders, would be released under Sb 103. This bill will help Juvenile offenders who have made a mistake as a child, and hope to one date show they to can be rehabilitated and productive citizens. A juvenile brain doesn’t develop until adulthood. So a lot of decisions made during that time may have been a irreversible mistake. I do believe that they should do time. 20 years is a good start to have the parole board evaluate there progress and rehabilitation. If they meet the qualifications set by the parole board, then they should be released back into society with the hopes of being productive citizens.

Amber writes:

I can honestly say that having worked in the Juvenile Justice field there are alot of juvenile offenders who committed crimes when they were young that realize now after serving 10-19 years in prison the severity of their case. They have matured and realize the nature of their crimes. They have now analyzed their situation, grasping and understanding what their actions have caused. I have a cousin who was incarcerated at the age of 14 and sentenced to 50 years in prison. As an adult now she has attained a job while being incarcerated, received her associates degree and is currently working on her bachelors. Her mature mind now at the age of 32 does not grasp the reason why she reacted how she did as an adolescent. She realize her mistakes and the things she has done. There are many juvenile offenders who are adults now who are waiting for a second chance to prove that they can be upstanding citizens if released from prison. Just because they are eligible for parole doesn't mean that it will be granted. It will be up to the parole board to agree to such terms based off of the progression of the incarcerated. I pray and hope my cousin gets her second chance. I do highly feel like a requirement from the parole board for eligibility for release should be the inmate has support. My cousin has missed so much. She doesn't know what anything really is. She will need the support of family to help her in her day to day adjustment. I understand that she missed out of almost everything because of her actions when she was a adolescent however I am just stated that I could not see letting an adult offender get paroled to come out to a world that they haven't even really lived in. My cousin spent more time in prison than she has in the outside world. As a parole board official I would strongly hope that is a requirement in order to make parole.

Juanita writes:

Where can I find the ages for this bill? is this 18 yo or younger or 19 yo and younger ?

SM writes:

Amber, I'm so sorry to hear about your cousin. She has done something evil to get 50 years at the age of 14. But to punish a child like that sounds evil too. Only in US this is possible. I don't judge the US laws. Maybe the sentencing has it reason. But the child like your cousin should has an opportunity to left the prison even much earlier than after 20 years. 10 years I think can be enough for someone who can show that the crime she did was only an awful mistake.

Sorry for my English.