Bresha Meadows’ future just got a lot clearer following a judge’s decision to not charge her as an adult after fatally shooting her abusive father.
If her case would’ve been taken out of juvenile court, she would’ve faced the risk of being sentenced to life in prison. Now, the biggest risk she faces is staying in the juvenile system until she’s 21 if convicted.
“We didn’t know for months what was going to happen,” said Martina Latessa, Bresha’s aunt. “Now we know she will not spend the rest of her life in prison, no matter what.”
Latessa, who is also a Cleveland police officer, recounted telling Bresha’s mother the good news to the Huffington Post.
“She was crying, saying, ‘My baby is not going to be gone forever,’” she said. “It takes a lot of pressure off of Bresha. Now she has hope. She has a future. Now she knows this is not forever.”
Multiple domestic violence organizations have come out in recent months to show their support from Bresha ever since the July 28 incident, citing the growing risk of negative effects from her experience with every day she remains in custody.
“I am relieved that prosecutors decided not to try Bresha as an adult. She is not an adult. She is still a child,” said Mariame Kaba, an organizer working with the #FreeBresha campaign.
“I continue to be concerned that she remains incarcerated which is only further traumatizing her,” she continued. “The #FreeBresha campaign calls on prosecutors to drop the charges against her and to release her now. She doesn’t deserve more punishment.”
While many supporters want to see her released, the recent victory is still worth celebrating.
“I am obviously thrilled with the decision by the prosecutor to keep Bresha’s case in the juvenile court,” said Bresha’s attorney, Ian Friedman. “This doesn’t change our position that this was a self-defense scenario and we will press on with our effort to get Bresha home with her family right away. Today is a great day.”
A great day, indeed. At the very least, a little girl’s entire life won’t be spent behind bars.
Photo Credit: GoFundMe