One of the basic questions we must ask ourselves when considering criminal justice reform is: Do we really believe that people are redeemable? Our response drives our personal philosophies on how justice systems should look. As long as there is debate about humans’ ability to reform, we will not have agreement as a society about what constitutes justice.
Just two months into her term, in March 2017, the Orlando area state attorney, Aramis Ayala, made an unprecedented announcement. Standing in front of the Orange County Courthouse, a gaggle of TV microphones clipped around her podium, she stated firmly, “I will not be seeking the death penalty in cases in my office.”
When 15-year-old Luis Cruz joined the Latin Kings in 1991, he was a child by almost any measure: He couldn’t legally drive, drop out of school or buy a beer. But was he still a child a few years later when — just months after he turned 18 — he murdered two people on the orders of gang leaders?
The man whose case was central to the Supreme Court’s Montgomery v. Louisiana was denied parole today by a three-man panel, the Baton Rouge Advocate reported. Henry Montomery, 71, is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder in the 1963 killing of an East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s deputy, when he was 17.
More than 23 years ago, 15-year-old Damien Riley walked into the Legends Comics and Sports Cards store, browsed through the cards, then aimed his gun at the back of the head of 41-year-old store owner Michael Kleban, who was sitting at the counter listening to the radio.
An Albany, Ga. teen charged with murder may be fighting for his life. Anthony Hill, 16, could be facing the death penalty for his role in a convenience store robbery that left a clerk dead, according to Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards. Surveillance video shows two men wearing ski masks enter the Miscelenea Guate-Mex Store waving guns. After robbing the store, police say one of the men shot and killed the store clerk, Sentos Vincente. They are still searching for the second man. Hill appeared before a Magistrate judge yesterday. A Superior Court judge will decide on bail at a later hearing.