I am excited to share that TOMORROW, Wednesday April 7th, the Second Look Bill (HB686) will be heard on the Texas House floor. I am writing to ask that each of you encourage your representative to vote FOR the bill, and to share with friends and family who might be supportive.
The Second Look Bill (HB 686) allows for parole reform for Texas children sentenced to adult prisons. In Texas, children as young as 14 can be sentenced to spend 40 years in prison before their first parole consideration: 40 years without anyone considering evidence of their rehabilitation or their transformation from the person they were at the time of their offense. These sentences were handed down largely during the tough on crime era of the 90s, and many Second Lookers are now in their early to mid-forties. You can learn more here.
HB 686 allows the Texas Parole Board, appointed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, to review persons sentenced as children earlier than 40 years and use a process that considers their youth at the time of the offense and the evidence of their rehabilitation since entering prison.
This weekend, many Texans celebrated redemption and transformation. We urge you today to call your representatives to bring that same spirit to the more than 1600 people waiting to find out if Texas will give them the opportunity to prove that they have redeemed and transformed their lives, or if we have forsaken them. This is a bipartisan bill with support across many different organizations of all political spectrums.
Thank you for your support. Tomorrow is a big day for those we serve.
Executive Director, Lone Star Justice Alliance