N.D. H.B. 1195, 65th Leg. Assemb. (N.D. 2017) (amending N.D. Cent. Code § 12.1-20-03 and enacting a new section in ch. 12.1-32).
North Dakota eliminated life without parole for juveniles in 2017. Under the legislation, defendants convicted as adults for offenses that occurred before the defendant was eighteen may petition for a sentence reduction after serving at least 20 years. To grant the reduction, the court must determine that the defendant is not a danger to the safety of others and that the interests of justice warrant a sentence modification. In addition, the statute directs the court to consider, inter alia: the nature of the offense and the defendant’s role in the offense; reports and recommendations from the department of corrections and rehabilitation and the state’s attorney; victim statements; the report of a licensed health care professional; defendant’s compliance with institutional rules while incarcerated and any educational, vocation, or other prison programming; and “whether the defendant has demonstrated maturity, rehabilitation, and a fitness to re-enter society sufficient to justify a sentence reduction.” Anyone granted a sentence reduction must serve at least five years on supervised release; anyone denied may file a second motion no earlier than five years later, and a third and final motion no earlier than five years after denial of the second motion.