Fair Sentencing for Youth



Archive for November, 2010

News Archive

70% of California Voters Want to Cut Prison Costs

Friday, November 19th, 2010

A new Los Angeles Times/USC Poll has found that the only state-financed enterprise voters favor chopping is the prison system, which more than 70% of voters wanted to cut either minimally or by a large amount. Californians object to increasing taxes in order to pare the state’s massive budget deficit, and instead favor closing the breach through spending cuts.  Read the article: Poll: Californians want it both ways on budget at http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-poll-20101118,0,1496673.story

State of Michigan Sued for Imposing LWOP on Juveniles

Friday, November 19th, 2010

“These life without parole sentences ignore the very real differences between children and adults, abandoning the concepts of redemption and second chances,” said Deborah Labelle, lawyer for the ACLU of Michigan’s Juvenile Life Without Parole Initiative. The ACLU filed  suit against the State of Michigan  on behalf of nine people who were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility for parole for crimes they committed as juveniles. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit, says Michigan’s sentencing laws constitute cruel and unusual punishment and violate the constitutional rights of the inmates. All nine were sentenced for first-degree murder or felony murder.  Read more: ACLU fights law sentencing kids to life in prison | freep.com | Detroit Free Press http://www.freep.com/article/20101117/NEWS06/101117027/ACLU-fights-law-sentencing-kids-to-life-in-prison#ixzz15lJFy2O5
Read more: ACLU fights law sentencing kids to life in prison | freep.com | Detroit Free Press http://www.freep.com/article/20101117/NEWS06/101117027/ACLU-fights-law-sentencing-kids-to-life-in-prison#ixzz15lIbbRTE

Life without Parole OK for Juveniles, Texas Court Rules

Friday, November 19th, 2010

In 2009, Texas outlawed theuse of life without parole sentences for juveniles, but the law was not retroactive. Twenty people sentenced to LWOP as juveniles remain sentenced to life without parole.  In mid-November , a Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that sentencing juvenile murderers to life in prison without any chance of parole is not unreasonably harsh. The ruling will only apply to the 20 people serving JLWOP.  For more information, please read: http://www.statesman.com/news/local/life-without-parole-ok-for-juveniles-texas-court-1055321.html

Sara Kruzan’s Sentence Commuted to 25 years-to-life in Prison

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

On January 2, 2011, out-going Governor Schwarzenegger commuted Sara Kruzan’s juvenile life without parole sentence to 25 years-to-life in prison. Sara was 16 years old when she shot the man who started sexually abusing her when she was 11 and pushed her into prostitution at age 13. For killing him, Sara was sentenced to LWOP plus four years. She is now in her 30s. A commutation is rare, and in this case it was accomplished with the expertise of a pro bono team of attorneys and with the help of many people who rallied to speak out against the crime of Sara’s sentence. The new sentence falls short of true justice, however: every youth deserves the right to earn parole. Sara’s circumstances should have resulted her release. To hear Sara discuss her life, look for the short video on the left-hand side of this home page.