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they were involved in before they were old enough to sit on the juries that convicted them. This punishment is known as juvenile life without parole sentencing, or JLWOP.
MYTHS & FACTS
Myth : JLWOP is for the worst of the worst. Facts: 38% of youth sentenced to JLWOP had no prior contact with the justice system. One third did not actually kill anyone. There is NO minimum age for JLWOP in Michigan. Myth : “Adult crime, adult time.” Facts: Kids are not adults. They cannot vote, sign contracts, or sit on juries The adolescent brain is risk prone, and lacks a mature brain’s faculties of judgment, decision-making, as well as ability to weigh future consequences. . Juveniles sentenced to life in prison will serve twice as long as the average adult sentenced for a comparable crime. Myth : JLWOP is necessary for public safety Facts: Many judges believe a lessor sentence for youth would be sufficient for the interests of public safety. However, they lack the discretion to issue shorter sentences because JLWOP is mandatory. Prosecutors offer many youths lessor sentences in the form of plea bargains. However, young people fail to understand the nature of these plea deals.
PREVENTION NOT PUNISHMENT: Education not Incarceration
83% were of youth sentenced to life without parole were suspended at least once 64% were expelled
358 140 110
youth sentenced to life without parole in Michigan are currently imprisoned were involved in a crime planned out and executed by an adult ringleader were convicted of aiding and abetting murder, not actually killing
Lifers Expelled From School Lifers Not Expelled From School
Lifers Suspended From School At Least Once Lifers Never Suspended From School
will die in prison because they refused plea deals for sentences as short as 5 years
of people serving JLWOP are African American
70% were not regularly attending school at the time of their crime
$1,240,470,000 1 : $3,465,000 2 :
The lifetime cost of
imprisoning current the JLWOP population The cost of imprisoning a
Not Attending School!
single child until s/he dies
*** Second Chances 4 Youth
is a network of families, professionals, advocates, organizations, and faith-communities opposed to LWOP for juveniles. We seek an opportunity to evaluate whether juveniles sentenced to LWOP, now grown and matured, are current threats to public safety. Providing a second chance to youth to safely rejoin society upon a clear demonstration of maturity and remorse.
1, 2 $35,000/year from age 16-55 and $105,000/year from 55-75
“The child shall be given an education that will promote her general culture and enable her to develop her abilities, her individual judgment, and her sense of moral and social responsibility, and to become a useful member of society.”
The Declaration of the Rights of The Child
SPOTLIGHT: Henry Hill was sixteen in 1980 when he and two of his friends got into an argument with an acquaintance at a park. All the boys involved had guns. Henry had already left the park when his18-year-old friend shot and killed the acquaintance.
Second Chances 4 Youth is committed to the recognition of the human rights of youth and the importance of restorative
justice. We believe that sentencing youth to life in prison, without a meaningful opportunity for release upon demonstration of rehabilitation, is incompatible with these values. We believe in a system of restorative justice that gives a voice to all those in the community affected by violence. We are therefore dedicated to abolishing natural life sentences for youth through collaborative grassroots, legislative, and judicial advocacy and to ensure a meaningful opportunity for release for all youth serving this sentence.
“The child shall be given opportunities and facilities, by law and by other means, to enable him to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and socially in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity.”
The Declaration of the Rights of The Child
Psychologists recommended Henry stay in the juvenile system. He was evaluated to have the academic ability of a third grader and the mental maturity of a nine-year-old. Henry was waived to adult court and convicted of aiding and abetting first-degree murder. He was sentenced to die in prison, the same sentence as the actual shooter. Henry is now forty-nine years old and has been in prison for over thirty years. He has earned his GED and several vocational qualifications. Today, he has exhausted all programs and resources available to him.
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RESPECT OUR RIGHTS!