After Decades in Prison, Should Adults Convicted as Teens Get a Second Chance? A Growing Number of State Laws Say Yes
Second in a three-part series on a teenager with a tumultuous childhood who was sent to die in prison, and where his life would lead. The following narrative was compiled from interviews and court records.
Sylvia A. Harvey Feb 06, 2023
Justices in the state’s highest court are weighing whether it is unconstitutional to sentence people convicted of murder and aged 18 to 20 to life without parole.
Ella Fassler Jun 30, 2021
I Was A Child In An Adult Prison System. Now I Fight For Those, Like Me, Who Deserve A Brighter Future When They’re Released
As a staff member of the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, I fight for all children, especially those impacted by systemic racism in our criminal justice system.
Catherine Jones Dec 15, 2020
A concerted effort to review, resentence, and release is the right thing to do for those who have been unjustly sentenced. It is also the right thing to do for our community.
Life Sentence For Missouri Woman Convicted Of Assaulting Police Officer Is ‘Extremely Distressing,’ Justice Advocate Says
Nicole Poston was sentenced in July for punching a police officer after she slipped free from a handcuff. Life sentences, even for nonhomicide offenses like Poston’s, are ‘a major factor’ in mass incarceration in the U.S., a criminal justice expert said.
Lauren Gill Aug 14, 2020
Judge Mary Ellen Brennan jailed the 15-year-old, known as Grace, for violating her probation by not completing schoolwork. Last month, the Michigan Court of Appeals ordered Grace’s immediate release, which Brennan said left her without the means to ‘issue consequences.’
Dawn R. Wolfe Aug 11, 2020
If the bill is signed into law later this month, about 20 percent of the state’s prison population could see their sentences reduced to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus, including some people who have served lengthy sentences for violent crimes.
Ellison Berryhill Aug 10, 2020
As Decriminalization Drives Reforms For Marijuana Convictions, Activists See Others Serving Time Left Behind
Despite the growing consciousness around the need for reforms, thousands of prisoners who might also deserve clemency or early release are slipping through the cracks.
Tana Ganeva Aug 06, 2020
After 78 Days, Michigan Teen Who Was Jailed For Failing To Complete Her Homework While On Probation Is Released
The Michigan Court of Appeals ordered her immediate release pending an appeal of a circuit court judge’s decision to jail the teen, known as “Grace,” in mid-May.
Dawn R. Wolfe Aug 03, 2020
Judge Mary Ellen Brennan sent the 15-year-old, known as Grace, to juvenile detention in May for violating her probation by not completing online schoolwork. On Monday, the judge said Grace was ‘blooming’ in the facility, despite arguments by Grace that she is falling behind.
Dawn R. Wolfe Jul 21, 2020
State law requires all murder charges be automatically filed in adult court, regardless of age.
Joshua Vaughn Jul 20, 2020
In 1998, Toforest Johnson was sentenced to die for the 1995 shooting death of an off-duty sheriff’s deputy. Now, the city’s district attorney is advocating for a new trial.
Lauren Gill Jun 12, 2020
Organizers have been collecting signatures as part of a ballot initiative known as State Question 805, which calls for the end of sentencing enhancements for people convicted of nonviolent crimes.
Lauren Gill Mar 20, 2020
As a candidate, Chesa Boudin condemned gang enhancements as racist. Now as DA he plans to significantly limit, if not eliminate, their use.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Feb 28, 2020
Arizona’s Incarcerated Firefighters Push for Legislation That Recognizes Their Labor By Reducing Their Sentences
Unlike other states, Arizona offers minimal early release credits for the prisoners it sends to fight its wildfires.
Hannah Critchfield Jan 21, 2020
Spotlights like this one provide original commentary and analysis on pressing criminal justice issues of the day. You can read them each day in our newsletter, The Daily Appeal. “Most lawyers, as well as ordinary citizens unfamiliar with the daily procedures of criminal law administration, are astonished to learn that a person in this society may […]
Sarah Lustbader Nov 12, 2019
North Carolina Judge Rules That Prosecuting 16-year-old As An Adult Violates His Constitutional Rights
Two years ago, the state passed ‘raise the age’ legislation that goes into effect in December. A judge’s decision regarding a teen charged in 2015 raises the possibility of relief for other young people charged since the law’s passage.
Roxanna Asgarian Oct 22, 2019
Spotlights like this one provide original commentary and analysis on pressing criminal justice issues of the day. You can read them each day in our newsletter, The Daily Appeal. Last Friday, actress Felicity Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in prison for paying thousands of dollars to have one of her daughter’s SAT scores inflated. She is the […]
Sarah Lustbader Sep 17, 2019
Despite supporting Oregon’s new juvenile justice law, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is still fighting to keep people in prison who received life sentences as minors.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Sep 03, 2019
Senate Bill 136 would repeal one of California’s most frequently used sentence enhancements, which gives judges the discretion to add a year to a felony sentence for every prior felony prison or jail term.
Vaidya Gullapalli Aug 28, 2019