Letters to the Editor by Oya Llansa Sherrills & Rebecca Weiker, Sacramento Bee

Young people can change

Re “Bill that would allow resentencing in heinous juvenile crimes is flawed” (Viewpoints, Aug. 20): Margaret Bengs’ column made me wonder – how long will we accept California’s willingness to leave children to die in prison? My brother was senselessly murdered at 18 by another youth. Nothing will fill the void.

However, my brother’s murder should not be used to justify the perpetual imprisonment of youths – especially not the disproportionate number of black and brown youths sentenced to life without parole in California.

Victims support redemption

I attended the same hearing as did columnist Margaret Bengs about Senate Bill 9 last Wednesday.

I came away deeply saddened and frustrated. My older sister was murdered 19 years ago and while I will never “get over” her senseless death, I have chosen to work for healing in the world as a response to that experience. Voices of victims are vital in our communal conversation about violence.

Read more of Oya Llansa Sherrills and Rebecca Weiker opinion piece on The Sacramento Bee website.