S.B. 140, 2016 S.D. Sess. Laws (S.D. 2016) (amending S.D. Codified Laws § 22-6-1 and enacting a new section).
South Dakota eliminated life without parole for juveniles in 2016. The new statute provides that “[t]he penalty of life imprisonment may not be imposed upon any defendant for any offense committed when the defendant was less than eighteen years of age.” In South Dakota, those sentenced to “life imprisonment” are ineligible for parole. The statute provides that “[i]f the defendant is under the age of eighteen years at the time of the offense and found guilty of a Class A, B, or C felony, the maximum sentence may be a term of years in the state penitentiary.”