Or. S.B. 1008, 80th Leg. Assemb. (Reg. Sess. 2019) (enacting new sections).
Oregon passed a statute in 2019 eliminating life without parole for juveniles. The statute provides eligibility for parole after 15 years for offenses committed under age 18. The parole provisions of the statute apply prospectively to offenses committed on or after January 2020.
Under the statute, juveniles will appear before the parole board for a hearing after 15 years served. During the hearing, the board is directed to give substantial weight “to the fact that a person under 18 years of age is incapable of the same reasoning and impulse control as an adult and the diminished culpability of minors as compared to that of adults.” The board is also directed to consider family and community circumstances at the time of the offense, including any history of abuse, trauma and involvement in the juvenile dependency system, as well as emotional growth, increased maturity, and participation in rehabilitative and educational programs while in custody. Finally, those appearing before the board may be represented by counsel, including at board expense.