A 2017 California law that reducing mandatory penalties for youthful offenders applied to all crimes, including non-capital murders, except for violent sex offenses.

That law was challenged and an appellate court struck it down. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “Although sex crimes can be horrific and worthy of severe punishment, “there is no crime as horrible as intentional first-degree murder” and no rational basis for treating rapists more harshly than murderers, the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco stated in a ruling that, if it stands, will require earlier parole hearings in all such cases.”

The Court’s opinion stated, “While a sentencing scheme can rationally express the public’s distaste for sex offenders, it cannot limit their opportunity for eventual parole more harshly than it limits those who commit intentional first-degree murder.”

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