No Life Sentences For Minors

The U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development has endorsed a national campaign to end the practice of sentencing people under the age of 18 to life in prison without possibility of parole. “While there is no question that violent and dangerous youth need to be confined for their safety and that of society, the [conference] does not support provisions that treat children as though they are equal to adults in their moral and cognitive development,” said Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Calif., chairman of the committee. “Life sentences without parole eliminate the opportunity for rehabilitation or second chances.” The federal government and 38 states allow youths to be sentenced to life without possibility of parole. Currently, over 2,500 young people are serving such sentences. According to Amnesty International, the United States is the only country that imposes this sentence upon children.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

The Holy Spirit might be the forgotten person of the Holy Trinity.
James Martin, S.J.May 21, 2018
Pope Francis walks past cardinals as he leaves a consistory in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican June 28, 2017. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Pope Francis is trying to ensure that those who elect his successor are humble men committed to “a church of the poor and for the poor.”
Gerard O’ConnellMay 21, 2018
James Martin, S.J. discusses this groundbreaking exhibition with Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute and C. Griffith Mann, Michel David-Weill Curator in Charge of the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 
America StaffMay 21, 2018
Archbishop Matteo Zuppi (Photo/Community of Sant'Egidio website)
Archbishop Matteo Zuppi of Bologna calls Father James Martin’s book ‘Building a Bridge’ ‘useful for encouraging dialogue, as well as reciprocal knowledge and understanding.’
Matteo ZuppiMay 21, 2018