The Campaign’s new publication, Righting Wrongs: The Five-Year Groundswell of State Bans on Life Without Parole for Children, highlights keys to recent reforms that have advanced the national trend of banning these extreme sentences for children.
The publication features the successes enabled by partners and supporters like you in states across the country. It also shares the stories of individuals who grew up in prison who are now members of the Incarcerated Children’s Advocacy Network (ICAN) as well as the experiences of other key stakeholders and individuals whose lives have been impacted by these reforms. It has a particular focus on the bipartisan nature of our legislative successes.
The report is accompanied by a letter from former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson, urging policymakers in other states to join his state of Utah and others in banning life-without-parole sentences for children.
“Before I served our great nation, I too was a juvenile offender who committed serious crimes, risking my own life and the lives of others,” Simpson wrote. “With minor changes in the facts of the crime, I could have spent years-or perhaps my entire life-in the clink. I am living proof that youth possess a unique capacity to grow and change. The child who seems helpless today could go on and change the world. That’s why I strongly support the work of the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth which is actively working to end the practice of sentencing children to die in prison.”
The New York Times also quoted the publication in an op-ed calling on Michigan prosecutors to ensure that people eligible for relief as a result of January’s Montgomery v. Louisiana decision have reasonable opportunities for release, as the U.S. Supreme Court mandated in the ruling.
This is the first major publication produced by the Campaign. We anticipate that it will be a key educational tool as we and our partners continue the national trend of rejecting these extreme sentences for children. To date, 17 states ban life-without-parole sentences for children, and five others ban the sentences under most circumstances.
Read U.S. Senator Alan Simpson’s letter
Read “Michigan Prosecutors Defy the Supreme Court” in The New York Times
Read “Bar Bulletin: New report highlights trend against life sentences for children” in The Daily Record