Less than 24 hours ago, we achieved our first major victory in bringing fair sentencing to California: Senate Bill 1437, sponsored by Re:store Justice, passed out of the Senate Public Safety Committee!
As a result of your commitment to stand with us in addressing the gravest injustices of our system, we successfully brought together dozens of coalition partners, impacted individuals, and law professionals to advocate for the overdue reform of the felony murder rule.
With over 40 community organizations in support, our united presence of over 60 people in attendance yesterday led to a powerful 6-1 vote in favor of SB 1437, moving our bill one step closer to passage. Additionally, Re:store Justice organized 38 legislative office visits with senators and their staff to inform them about the need for reform. Our teams advocating for this bill included law enforcement, impacted families, lawyers, formerly incarcerated individuals, teachers, faith leaders, and survivors of crime.
Our voices are being heard loud and clear: the felony murder rule is a barbaric practice that causes disproportionate sentences for individuals who did not commit or intend to commit murder and undermines notions of fairness that are critical to the American criminal justice system. It is necessary that we keep asserting this message to reach our legislators and the rest of the public.
This is only the beginning, but it is a promising and hopeful one. In the upcoming weeks and months, we will continue advocating for this issue and sharing updates. Please keep SB 1437 on your radar and raise awareness among your networks!
Watch SB 1437 Pass Out of the Senate Public Safety Committee
Community Hightlights from Hearing Day
Photos courtesy of our coalition partners at CARES for Youth and Initiate Justice.
Alexandra Mallick is the Executive Director of Re:store Justice. Her work in California includes policy and advocacy to advance criminal justice reform. In addition to working on legislation, she works with incarcerated individuals to help change the narrative and shine a light on the power of rehabilitation.