This week, Legislation to keep unremorseful convicted murderers behind bars was denied a public hearing by Sacramento Democrats. Traditionally, all bills are allowed at least one hearing during a policy committee. The Chairman of the Assembly Public Safety Committee was responsible for the unilateral decision to silence victims.
Assembly Bill 665 (Erik’s Law), would reform provisions of current law to ensure that sociopathic, unrehabilitated juvenile murderers would not be provided an automatic parole hearing when they were sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
Erik Ingebretsen was brutally murdered in 1997 by Nathan Ramazinni, someone Erik thought was his best friend. At sentencing, the judge described the killing as "so serious and the circumstances were as heinous as imaginable." Erik’s killer will now be eligible for parole after serving just 25 years of his sentence because a new law passed in 2017.
Despite the author’s attempt to offer amendments narrowing the scope bill, the Committee still denied a public hearing.
Erik’s sister, Devin Lombardi, expressed frustration by the unilateral decision to deny a hearing. “I’m learning more and more every day just how corrupt the system is in Sacramento,” said Lombardi. “We knew this was going to be an uphill battle, but they didn’t even give us a chance to make our case. It’s just wrong. The rights afforded to me through the California Victims Bill of Rights Act are being trumped by the rights and concerns for premeditated, 1st degree murderers. This is hurtful and beyond devastating for victims."
Gallagher agreed, “My colleagues need to listen to voices like Devin’s and take action to reform our laws to ensure that dangerous sociopaths stay behind bars and victims receive justice. This is a black eye on the Legislature and an insult to every crime victim in California.”
Senator Jim Nielsen said, “Some crimes are committed in a matter that is too heinous and inhumane for society to excuse. In the Northstate, the cruelty of Erik Ingebretsen’s murderer cannot, and should never, be pardoned. This individual preyed on the trust of a friend and brutally took the life of a promising teenager from his family and loved ones.”
Gallagher and Nielsen are encouraging the public to call the Committee Chair and demand a formal hearing on the measure.
Asm. Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer Sr.
Chair of the Public Safety Committee