The report recommends seven legislative reforms “to cap sentences at 20 years and right-size the sentencing structure”:
- Abolish death and life without parole sentences, limiting maximum sentences to 20 years;
- Limit murder statutes to intentional killing, excluding sentences such as felony murder, and reduce homicide penalties;
- Eliminate mandatory minimum sentencing and reform sentencing guidelines to ensure that judges can use their discretion to consider mitigating circumstances;
- Provide universal access to parole and ensure timely review;
- Eliminate consecutive sentences and limit sentence enhancements, including repealing “truth-in-sentencing” and “habitual offender” laws;
- Create an opportunity for judicial “second look” re-sentencing within a maximum of 10 years of imprisonment, regardless of an individual’s offense; and
- Shift all sentences downward, including by de-felonizing many offenses and decriminalizing many misdemeanors.