life without parole

Jailed for life for stealing a $159 jacket? 3,200 serving life without parole for nonviolent crimes
November 17, 2013

A shocking new study by the American Civil Liberties Union has found that more than 3,200 people nationwide are serving life terms without parole for nonviolent offenses. Of those prisoners, 80 percent are behind bars for drug-related convictions. Sixty-five percent are African-American, 18 percent are white, and 16 percent are Latino — evidence of what the ACLU calls “extreme racial disparities.” The crimes that led to life sentences include stealing gas from a truck, shoplifting, possessing a crack pipe, facilitating a $10 sale of marijuana, and attempting to cash a stolen check. We speak with Jennifer Turner, human rights researcher and author of the new ACLU report, “A Living Death: Life Without Parole for Nonviolent Offenses.”

More here

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Teen Killers: Life Without Parole (2014 Documentary)

“In the United States more than 2,500 people are serving life-without-parole sentences for crimes they committed when they were 17 or younger. In this film, five of them, all convicted for first degree murder, tell their stories. Brian was a 16-year-old outsider inspired by the Columbine School massacre when he and school friend Torey killed their classmate Cassie in a chilling murder reminiscent of a scene from a horror film. Josiah and Jacob both reflect on the impact childhood abuse had on the appalling murders they committed and Sean recalls gang life in the notorious Bloods, killing a passer-by the first time he shot a gun. All five give sober insights into their teenage selves and the deep regret they feel for their victims and all those impacted by their crimes. Through their stories the film asks some difficult questions. What is justice when a teenager kills? Can a horrific act place a life beyond redemption? Are there alternatives or should we simply dispose of them?”

A Florida man convicted of first-degree murder for fatally shooting a teenager in an argument over loud music outside a Jacksonville convenience store was sentenced Friday to life in prison without parole. The life sentence imposed by Circuit Judge Russell Healey was mandatory for 47-year-old Michael Dunn after prosecutors decided not to seek the death penalty.

Read more here.

advocate.com
Couple plead guilty to killing 8-year-old they thought was gay

TW: Child abuse, murder, violent homophobia, mention of suicide 

A California mother and her former boyfriend have pleaded guilty to beating to death the woman’s 8-year-old son because they thought the boy way gay.

Pearl Fernandez and Isauro Aguirre pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and torture, and will be imprisoned for life without parole. Here are the horrific details of what happened: 

Aguirre and Fernandez were accused of torturing the child, Gabriel Fernandez, for several months, calling him gay, beating him when he played with dolls, striking him with belts and baseball bats, forcing him to eat cat feces and his own vomit, dousing him in pepper spray, and locking him inside a cabinet with a sock stuffed in his mouth and refusing to let him out to use the bathroom, as previously reported.

His mother called 911 on May 22, 2013 to report that Gabriel was not breathing. When paramedics arrived at the couple’s apartment in Palmdale, just north of Los Angeles, they found the child in his bedroom naked, with a cracked skull, several broken ribs, and BB pellets in his lung and groin. He died two days later. Aguirre and Pearl Fernandez were charged with capital murder shortly thereafter.

While social workers had responded to multiple reports of abuse from Gabriel Fernandez’s teachers and grandfather, child welfare workers determined that Gabriel was not at risk. Social workers had even found a suicide note the boy had written, but concluded that he did not have an immediate or specific plan to take his own life.

I don’t even know how to react. I feel physically ill at the thought of such hateful people living on this planet. Eight years old. 

backbone like steel.
backbone like barbed wire.
backbone like “touch me.
touch me and see what happens to your hands.”

smile like an oil spill.
smile like a molotov cocktail.
smile like “kiss me.
kiss me and see what happens to your tongue.”

when you get knocked around enough early on
you learn to build your body up like a prison.
the clenched white teeth,
bloody knuckle electric fence.

you forget, while playing judge and jury,
that you are your own convict,
and you have been wrongfully accused.

heart like a clenched fist.
heart like a birdcage.
heart like “love me.
oh god, what weak creature am i,
that i need you to love me?”
heart like a bomb -
and the bomb shelter.

sentenced to life without parole,
thrown into solitary,
if you ever want to see the sun again,
you’ll have to find a way to escape.

past like “fuck you.”
present like “fuck you.”
future like it will not always be like this.
future like it will not always be like this.
future like “i am trying to be soft.
i am trying to accept love without
wanting to tear us both apart.”

—  body like lockdown, elliot
Michael Dunn sentenced to life without parole over 'loud music' killing

NBC News: Michael Dunn, the Florida man convicted of first-degree murder for shooting a teenager to death over loud music, has been sentenced to life without parole.

He was convicted of killing Jordan Davis, 17, in November 2012 after he shot into a SUV of four teenagers 10 times when an argument broke out over loud music coming from the teens’ vehicle.

Follow more updates at Breaking News

Amnesty International has released a report on juvenile life without parole statistics and experience. I have been following this type of story for a while now and every time I read or see something about it I get sick to my stomach. This alone disqualifies the USA as a a candiate for the “greatest country in the world.” How pathetic are people to believe an 11 year old deserve to rot in prison for the rest of their lives? The prosecution, judge, and juries on these cases physically disgust me.

One of the other important aspects of this report is its recognition of how psychological disorders play a large role in these cases. As I have argued with numerous people and on here before, those with psychological disorders are among the most mistreated and ignored in our society. It goes to show how emotional ignorant and empty we are as a nation that people that are suffering with something uncontrollable, and many times difficult to treat (medically and with the physical ability to give treatment since our nation has done little to give patients, their families, and doctors the adequate tools to actually helping those in need). Mix this massive failure of conscience with a nation willing to destroy the young life of another and we have a dangerous situation.

Anyways, follow the link to the report, it is devastating and painful, but absolutely necessary to know and understand.

The Historic Rise in Life Sentences in America
While serious crime rates in the U.S. have been declining for the last 20 years, the number of prisoners serving life sentences has more than quadrupled since 1984. As documented in our new report, Life Goes On: The Historic Rise in Life Sentences in America, by senior research analyst Ashley Nellis, over 159,000 people were serving life sentences in 2012, with nearly 50,000 serving life without parole.

Key findings from the report include:
  • One of every nine individuals in prison is serving a life sentence.
  • The population of prisoners serving life without parole (LWOP) has risen more sharply than those with the possibility of parole: there has been a 22.2% increase in LWOP since just 2008.
  • Approximately 10,000 lifers have been convicted of nonviolent offenses.
  • Nearly half of lifers are African American and 1 in 6 are Latino. 
  • More than 10,000 life-sentenced inmates have been convicted of crimes that occurred before they turned 18 and nearly 1 in 4 of them were sentenced to LWOP.
  • More than 5,300 (3.4%) of the life-sentenced inmates are female.

In order to reshape our crime policies to facilitate rehabilitation, promote public safety, and reduce the high cost of mass incarceration, the report recommends eliminating life without parole, increasing the use of executive clemency, preparing persons sentenced to life for release from prison, and restoring the role of parole in prisoner release.

I hope that the insights in Life Goes On: The Historic Rise in Life Sentences in America will be useful in your work. As always, we would welcome your comments and reactions to the issues raised in this report.

The Final Moments Of Regina Kay Walters

Regina Kay Walters was a 14-year-old girl from Pasadena, Texas, who was murdered by a notorious serial killer, Robert Ben Rhoades. One of three victims—although Rhoades claims to have killed more—Walters was the unfortunate exception in the way Rhoades toyed with her. Rhodes cut her hair, dressed her up, and took pictures of her in distress—the most saddening of which is the picture you see above.

Robert Ben Rhoades was captured in September 1992, but not before taking two more lives. He was sentenced to life without parole and remains imprisoned in Texas to this day.

The picture of this young girl in her final moments—dressed, altered, and stranded with a monster like Rhoades—is a difficult thing to look at. The forceful nature of the lens being pointed at Walters and the look of desperation on her face make this picture a hideous display in human torture—a cat playing with a mouse. An image that will forever mark the breaking of one man’s psyche.

More than 3,200 people nationwide are serving life terms without parole for nonviolent offenses.

According to

Democracy Now

:

“Of those prisoners, 80 percent are behind bars for drug-related convictions. Sixty-five percent are African-American, 18 percent are white, and 16 percent are Latino.”read more…

i just #cantmakethisshitup

Watch on sundaybrunchmusic.tumblr.com

This is sickening.

Chris Kyle's killer found guilty of murder, sentenced to life in prison without parole

This won’t bring back an American hero, but it’s a relief that justice has been served. 

from NBC News:

A Texas jury has found Eddie Ray Routh guilty of murder in the killings of “American Sniper” Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield.

Routh, 27, admitted to killing both men at the shooting range of Rough Creek Lodge and Resort, southwest of Dallas, on Feb. 2, 2013.

Routh pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to capital murder. His attorneys have said Routh, a former Marine corporal who served in Iraq but not in a combat role, was in the grip of a medically diagnosed psychosis at the time of the killings.

Prosecutors said that Routh was drinking and smoking marijuana on the morning of the crime. They argue that he was paranoid because he was high, and that he was angry about living with his parents, relationship problems, money and his job — then finally exploded when Kyle and Littlefield snubbed him.

read the rest

Routh received the sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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Jailed for Life for Stealing a $159 Jacket? 3,200 Serving Life Without Parole For Non-Violent Crimes

 A shocking new study by the American Civil Liberties Union has found that more than 3,200 people nationwide are serving life terms without parole for nonviolent offenses. Of those prisoners, 80 percent are behind bars for drug-related convictions. Sixty-five percent are African American, 18 percent are white, and 16 percent are Latino – evidence of what the ACLU calls “extreme racial disparities.” The crimes that led to life sentences include stealing gas from a truck, shoplifting, possessing a crack pipe, facilitating a $10 sale of marijuana, and attempting to cash a stolen check. We speak with Jennifer Turner, human rights researcher and author of the new ACLU report, “A Living Death: Life Without Parole for Nonviolent Offenses."