It’s now been three years since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Henry Montgomery should have a chance to earn parole, because he’d been a teenager at the time of his crime. But on Thursday, the Louisiana parole board voted against parole for Montgomery for the second time. So Montgomery, now 72, will remain in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, working five days a week at the prison silk-screen shop, as he has for decades. “I’m almost at a loss for words at how it is possible that Henry, yet again, was denied. One would have thought that he would be one of the first,” said Marsha Levick, chief legal officer of the Juvenile Law Center.
Christine Blasey Ford’s charge that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at 17 sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school has focused attention on the polarizing issue of juvenile justice reform.
It’s about time someone wrote a book that informs readers about the unadulterated truth of how we treat kids in America. It isn’t flattering, and worse, the future doesn’t look promising despite reform movements peppered across our nation.
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.
James Bell, founder and president of the W. Haywood Burns Institute, told a gathering of juvenile justice reformers that it was time to begin “an uncomfortable” conversation about racial disparities in the youth justice system.
While the man behind the landmark decision that ended mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juveniles waits for a new sentence, other inmates given the same term are getting a shot at eventual freedom.