Sparing children from life in prison without parole
By Gary Gately
November 15, 2013
WASHINGTON – Jason Baldwin hopes to spare others from growing up, growing old – and dying – in prison.
Baldwin, who was sentenced to life without parole at 16 for a crime he did not commit, served 18 years and since his release in 2011 has become a crusader against sentencing youths to life without parole. He is one of the “West Memphis Three” – who as teenagers in 1994 were convicted of the 1993 murders of three boys in West Memphis, Ark.
The 36-year-old Baldwin, who now lives in Seattle, brought his message to the nation’s capital Wednesday night at an annual reception and fundraiser of the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, a national organization that seeks to abolish life-without-parole sentences for all youth.
“I cannot believe that we are a society where we would place no value in people who have made a mistake — no matter how terrible — at a young age,” Baldwin told JJIE.org.