SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The fight to keep convicted killers behind bars is the motivation behind a new bill that would repeal legislation giving juvenile offenders a second chance.
Erik’s Law, named after a murdered Colusa County teen, would revoke parts of a law passed two years ago that allows parole hearings for minors sentenced to life without parole.
Erik’s law is in honor of Erik Ingebretsen who was brutally murdered in 1997 by someone he thought was his best friend. Both were just teenagers at the time. This case has struck at the heart of Colusa County.
And for Erik’s family, the possibility of parole for his killer is not only unjust but cruel.
Erik was beaten and stabbed to death, his body dumped in a Colusa County filed at the age of 16. Nathan Ramazinni was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Ramazinni, now 38, will be eligible for parole thanks to legislation passed a couple years ago that essentially says anyone who was sentenced as a juvenile to life in prison without the possibility of parole will be eligible for early parole after serving for 25 years.
This new law sets out to change that.
“We believe in rehabilitation, we believe in second chances where they’re warranted, there needs to be justice… there needs to be justice for Erik,” said Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Yuba City).
Ramazzini’s parole hearing would be in July 2021 if the law stays the way it is. Lawmakers hope Erik’s law will bring justice and not open the same wounds the town of Colusa and his family have been trying to heal for 20 years.