The severe punishment for certain crimes in Rhode Island may be altered by a bill being considered by state lawmakers. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jay Edwards, aims to prohibit judges from sentencing defendants to life without the possibility of parole for serious violent crimes, such as first-degree murder, murder of a kidnapped child, and carjacking resulting in murder. It also allows certain inmates who are already serving life sentences a chance at release after 25 years served. The bill has caused controversy among lawmakers and victims’ families, with some arguing that it is like a second death penalty. The House Judiciary is set to hear the bill at 5 p.m.