2011 in review

2011 in Review:

  • January 2011: The International Human Rights Watch’s 2011 Annual World Report finds that sentencing juveniles to life in prison without the possibility of parole constitutes cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment.
  • January 2011: The Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice recommends an end to non-parolable life sentences for youth.
  • February 2011: The Midwest Center for Human Rights holds a Summit focusing on the human rights violations of life without parole sentences for juveniles.
  • May 2011: Once and For All, the first gathering of Midwest family members and supporters met in Ann Arbor, Michigan to build a national coalition to advocate for the end of the LWOP sentence for youth.
  • June 2011: The U.S. Supreme Court follows its decision in Graham v. Florida (abolishing JLWOP for non homicide crimes as a violation of the 8th amendment’s) with J.D.B. v. North Carolina, that youth cannot be viewed as miniature adults in the criminal justice system.
  • July 2011: A Federal Judge recognizes that juveniles serving life without parole sentences in Michigan have a valid claim that their sentence violates their civil rights protected by the 8th amendments prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.  Hill v. Snyder, File No. 10-14568.
  • August 2011: California’s legislative bill SB9, seeking the abolishment of LWOP, came within one vote of passage.  The Bill will be reconsidered in the new year.
  • November 2011: The National Campaign for Fair Sentencing of Youth convened the Healing and Hope conference in Washington D.C. This gathering of advocates, family members, lawyers and victims pledged to support abolishing juvenile life without parole sentences and allowing those serving the sentence a meaningful opportunity for release.
  • November 2011: The U.S. Supreme Court agrees to consider two new cases challenging the constitutionality of juvenile life without parole sentences for youth.
  • November 2011: A statewide news series published in seven Michigan Newspapers highlighted the inequities of the JLWOP sentence in Michigan.
  • November 2011:  Amnesty International issues a new report: “This Is Where I’m Going To Be When I Die: Children Facing Life Imprisonment Without The Possibility of Release in the USA!”
  • December 2011:  Second Chances 4 Youth launches a website for advocates working to abolish the life without parole sentence for youth in Michigan.  SecondChances4Youth.org
  • December 2011:  The ACLU Juvenile Life Without Parole Initiative project and Second Chances 4 Youth prepares to issue two reports— an update of Second Chances and Basic Decency, a report on the inequities of plea bargaining and sentencing of youth in Michigan.