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?
A federal appeals court’s ruling in the case of Washington-area sniper Lee Boyd Malvo could speed the resentencings of people serving life-without-parole sentences for crimes committed as teens in Virginia and Maryland.
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. Baldwin 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.
Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled a U.S. Supreme Court decision that declared sentences of life without parole for juveniles unconstitutional cannot be applied retroactively, striking a significant blow to hundreds of inmates statewide.
Connecticut’s Sentencing Commission is currently evaluating a proposal that would outlaw juvenile sentences of 10 years or greater without parole opportunities, The CT Mirror reports. The proposal, if enacted, would affect every juvenile in the state currently sentenced to 10 or more years. Offenders sentenced to 60 years or less would have parole hearings after serving half of their sentences, while offenders sentenced to 60 or more years under the proposal would have parole eligibility after serving 30 years. Under the sentence modifications, young people sentenced to 20 years would become eligible for parole by the time they were 24, while 17-year-olds sentenced to 60 or more years would have parole opportunities when they turned 47. The proposal includes an additional plan that would seek to develop “Certificate of Rehabilitation“ programs, which are “aimed at reducing barriers faced by individuals with convictions and encouraging reintegration into communities.”
A public hearing on the proposal will be held on Nov.