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California makes strides in limiting extreme sentences for youth; Senate and Governor should act quickly to approve SB9

Today was a historic day in California as both the Assembly and the California Supreme Court took concrete steps toward scaling back extreme sentences for children. The Assembly made significant strides toward justice for children in approving SB 9, the Fair Sentencing for Youth Act, which would allow people sentenced to life in prison without […]

States Have Second Thoughts About Juveniles in Adult Court

By Maggie Clark, Stateline, June 17, 2012 In 1993, in what was called Denver’s “summer of violence,” high-profile gang warfare attributed to youth “super-predators” seemed to overtake the city. Drive-by shootings were a common occurrence. Then-Governor Roy Romer called a special session of the Colorado legislature and rolled out his “iron fist” plan to address […]

Finding redemption after 18 years

By Richard Haws, Des Moines Register, June 8, 2012 Any state that’s suffered through the most brutal murder spree in its history wouldn’t be expected to show compassion for any of the crime’s perpetrators, but that’s what Nebraska did. It’s relevant to today because the U.S. Supreme Court this summer will be addressing the same […]

Michigan Finally Eyeing Changes To Lawyers For Poor

By Carrie Johnson, National Public Radio, June 14, 2012 Lawyers on all sides agree the system enshrined nearly 50 years ago that gives all defendants the right to a lawyer is not working. The Justice Department calls it a crisis — such a big problem that it’s been doling out grants to improve how its […]

Life Without Parole at Issue

By Rhonda Cook, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 18, 2012 The U.S. Supreme Court has already said — twice — that teenage criminals are not the same as their adult counterparts. Now the high court is expected to rule, perhaps today, whether it is constitutional to sentence teenage killers to life without parole, considering that teenagers’ […]

Flakes seeks forgiveness, redemption, to mentor at-risk youth

By Bill Vogrin, The Gazette,  June 9, 2012 This is a story of a troubled teen seeking redemption as an adult and struggling to redefine himself in the minds of strangers who consider him a monster. It’s the story of a contrite man seeking forgiveness for a crime that shocked the community. Of a man […]