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St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial: Missouri board must halt juvenile death-in-prison parole practices

We applaud the St. Louis Post Dispatch's Editorial Board for shining a light on the Missouri Parole Board's flagrant disregard for the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that made juvenile death-behind-bars sentences without the possibility of parole unconstitutional. 

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"There’s no escaping the blatant unfairness of a justice system that allows juveniles to be tried and sentenced to life in prison with virtually no prospect of parole, consigning them to a death-in-prison sentence. Offenders convicted as juveniles and who have already served 25 years in prison deserve at least to have legal counsel present and to present witnesses during their parole hearings.

The Missouri Parole Board, brushing aside state law, is not fairly reviewing these circumstances and has denied parole in 90 percent of the 20 cases it has reviewed. The MacArthur Justice Center in St. Louis, which has filed a lawsuit against the parole board, argues that such inmates are given little time before the board and denied basic constitutional protections, such as the right to counsel, to present witnesses and to see evidence that has been presented against them.

Research on adolescent brain development over the past decade confirms there are good reasons for maintaining different sentencing standards between juveniles and adults. Youthful offenders are more susceptible to outside pressures and influences to commit crimes. They also show a greater capacity for rehabilitation while incarcerated."

Read the full editorial

Keywords: juvenile, juvenile justice, parole, parole board

Posted in News Articles, All News