Bay State must relax youth punishments

By Jody Kent Lavy.  Letter to the Editor, The Boston Globe

I WAS pleased to read the Globe’s story highlighting some of the injustices in the practice of sentencing children to life in prison without the possibility of release in Massachusetts (“For teens guilty of murder, penalties can vary widely; Review finds no pattern in young killers’ terms since Mass. law change,’’ Page A1, Dec. 27).

Massachusetts has one of the strictest sentencing schemes for juveniles in the country: children as young as 14 charged with murder must be transferred to adult court and receive a mandatory life without parole sentence, if convicted. There is no opportunity to consider the influence of older co-defendants, history of abuse or neglect, or any other mitigating factors.


Read the entire article here.