Abolish Juvenile Life Without Parole Sentences in the USA

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Abolish Juvenile Life Without Parole Sentences in the USA

Post  Yoke on Sat Apr 04, 2009 1:58 pm

Sign at :

http://criminaljustice.change.org/actions/view/abolish_juvenile_life_without_parole_sentences_in_the_usa

In the United States of America, many states impose sentences of life without parole on juveniles. Those most aggressively and disproportionately targeted are minority children.

Pursuant to the U.N. Convention On the Rights of the Child, Article 37, the imposition of the death penalty or life without parole sentences on juveniles are prohibited and constitute a human rights violation. There are over 2,000 people across the USA who are serving sentences of life without parole for crimes they were accused or convicted of committing when they were children. The Convention On the Rights of the Child has been ratified by 192 nations.

The USA is only one of two countries in the world that have not ratified the United Nations Convention On the Rights of the Child, and is the only country in the Western Hemisphere to impose such draconian sentences on children.

The imposition of life sentences without possibility of parole on juveniles further violates additional international treaties, including:

• International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
• United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice;
• United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency; United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment;
• American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man; and
• Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture

We reject the notion that children are dispensable or incorrigible. It is inhumane to abandon the inherent dignity of children. Life without parole sentences for children reflects a determination that there is nothing that can be done to render the child a fit member of society. It is an unforgiving sentence of permanent banishment — which rejects any concept of redemption or faith that time, treatment or hard work can promote positive change.

Through intervention, education, therapeutic programming, and genuine care, we can rescue troubled youth and help them become contributing members of society. Even the United States Supreme Court affirms this position:

"It would be misguided to equate the failing of a minor with those of an adult, for a greater possibility exists that a minor's character deficiencies will be reformed." (Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551, 125 S.Ct. 1183, 1195 (2005)

By joining this group you are calling for an end to the deplorable practice of sentencing children to life in prison without the possibility of parole, and calling on members of Congress and state legislators to abolish this human rights atrocity.

This campaign is targeting your Governor, members of your State Senate, members of your State House, members of the US Senate and members of the US House of Representatives.

The campaign ends on Jul 01.

Yoke
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