As reported in the AJC, seventeen-year-old Jaydon Lee Reid from Cobb County, Georgia was just given two life sentences and an additional fifteen years for the shooting of Terrence Banks and Sterling Hargrave when he was fourteen years old. While much work around juvenile justice and reducing prison sentences focuses on commuting the sentences or eliminating mandatory minimums for nonviolent offenders, it is essential for those troubled by the US police state to grapple with how society can justly respond to violent crimes, especially those committed by youths.
From POTUS, to the Hill, and even sheriffs, America’s legal and political powerhouses are finally confronting our overly punitive and discriminatory criminal justice system. The ever-growing list of the Department of Justice’s investigation into local policing practices has revealed a fuller realm of the effects of the 1994 crime bill. But as the wave of criminal justice reform takes the country by storm, will it reconcile racial injustice along the way? I spoke with Shaka Senghor, a formerly incarcerated man who is now an activist, author, and Director of Strategy for #Cut50, to get his perspective.
In a thirty second video, an elementary student from Texas breaks down the classist structure of America’s criminal justice system. His take down of the system occurred during a school debate, and so far this viral video has received over 66,000 retweets.
Nine years ago, Wilbert Taylor Jr.’s life changed forever when he was shot in the head and paralyzed. The 19-year-old was on break from Southern Illinois University, and was leaving a party on Chicago’s south side.
The shooting left Taylor in need of a wheelchair, and doctors told him he’d never walk again. Now, he’s preparing to walk across the stage Thursday to accept his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Chicago State University.
George Zimmerman is a free man and because of that, he may be entitled to having legal expenses from his trial paid for.
Because Zimmerman was acquitted, state law requires Florida to pay all his legal costs, minus the biggest one: the fee that goes to his lawyers.
Houston teenagers Liana Andrews, 16, and Kacie Watson, 14 have gone missing after sneaking out of Andrews’ home to meet a man they met on Facebook.
The teens snuck out, texted Andrews’ grandmother, and stole her mother’s car. They haven’t been seen since.
Their families are desperate to find them.
Florida lawmakers have voted overwhelmingly against holding a special session to strike down the “Stand Your Ground” law.
108 legislators voted against the session; only 47 voted for it.
Four lawmakers did not vote at all.
22-year old Australian baseball player Christopher Lane was gunned down by three Oklahoma teenagers because they were “bored.”
Lane played at East Central University, and was visiting his girlfriend and her family in the town of Duncan. He was minding his own business, jogging, when the teens came up being him and shot him in the back.
After spending an hour talking with Georgia elementary school gunman Brandon Hill, school clerk Antoinette Tuff was able to persuade him to put down his weapon.
Tuff is a school clerk at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy.
She says she prayed for him, told her details of her life, and through building a rapport with him was able to convince Hill to surrender peacefully to police.
Michigan Judge John Corbett O’Meara has ruled that juveniles convicted of first-degree murder must be considered for parole.
O’Meara’s ruling demands that the state no longer enforce their mandatory-no-parole law in the wake of a landmark Supreme Court decision.
That decision – which came down last year – abolished mandatory no-parole sentences for young people under the age of 18.