Monday, May 5, 2008

Categorically Less Culpable: Children Sentenced to Life Without Possibility of Parole in Illinois

The Illinois Coalition For Fair Sentencing of Children is a group of attorneys, academics, child advocates, and concerned citizens who are pursuing judicial, legislative, and other avenues designed to end the practice of sentencing children under the age of 18 to life without the possibility of parole (“JLWOP”) in Illinois.

On February 13, 2008 we released a report, “Categorically Less Culpable: Children Sentenced to Life Without Possibility of Parole in Illinois.”

▸ View the official press release (pdf)

▸ View the Report: "Categorically Less Culpable: Children Sentenced to Life Without Possibility of Parole in Illinois" (pdf)

▸ View the Executive Summary (pdf)

View the bill, HB 4384

Coalition Members | Contact Us | Media and Related Links

Coalition Members
American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois
Children and Family Justice Center, Bluhm Legal Clinic, Northwestern University School of Law
Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, University of Chicago School of Law
Human Rights Watch, Chicago Committee
John Howard Association of Illinois
Juvenile Justice Initiative
Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender

Contact Us
Phone: 312-503-0396

Media and Related Links

National Media Coverage

New York Times, A Shameful Record, February 6, 2008 : “Juvenile crime should not be taken lightly, but young people should not be completely written off….Locking up juveniles for life without parole is unfair and a poor use of criminal justice resources.”

San Francisco Chronicle, Redemption and Rehabilitation, January 18, 2008: “[a]ll of those arguments [in Roper v. Simmons, which invalidated the juvenile death penalty] also could be applied to laws that put juveniles in prison without the possibility of parole. . .”

Los Angeles Times, Locking up Kids for Life: California can sentence criminals under 18 to life without parole. It's cruel and unusual punishment, January 16, 2008: Citing international law and new neuroscience, “…it is perverse to condemn a minor to prison for life for committing a crime that he or she might find unthinkable on reaching adulthood.”

St. Petersburg Times, When It's Wrong to Throw Away the Key , January 6, 2008 : In supporting legislation aimed at giving kids sentenced to life a second chance, the Times rhetorically asked: “[h]as the state simply given up on any possibility that teenagers might one day turn their lives around?”

Chicago Tribune, Parole Proposed for Youths Who Kill, November 27, 2007

New York Times, Lifers as Teenagers, Now Seeking Second Chance, October 17, 2007

Nationally Published Reports

When I Die, They'll Send Me Home, Human Rights Watch, California (January 2008)

Sentencing Our Children to Die in Prison, Global Law and Practice, University of San Francisco School of Law (November 2007)

Cruel and Unusual: Sentencing 13- and 14-year old Children to Die in Prison, Equal Justice Initiative, (November 2007)

The Rest of Their Lives, Human Rights Watch (October 2005)

Second Chances: Juveniles Serving Life Without Parole in Michigan Prisons, Michigan ACLU (2004)

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