Thursday, April 15, 2010

When Kids Get Life (2007)

The United States is one of the only countries in the world that allows children under 18 to be sentenced to life without parole. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International report that more than 2,000 inmates are currently serving life without parole in the United States for crimes committed when they were juveniles; in the rest of the world, there are only 12 juveniles serving the same sentence, according to figures reported to the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child.  In When Kids Get Life, FRONTLINE producer Ofra Bikel (The O.J. Verdict, Innocence Lost) travels to Colorado to profile five individuals sentenced to life without parole as juveniles.  Colorado was an early pioneer in juvenile justice, focusing on rehabilitation rather than punishment. But in the late 1980s and 1990s, when a sharp increase in violent crimes by young offenders attracted enormous press coverage, legislators nationwide clamped down. In Colorado, the General Assembly eliminated the possibility of parole for life sentences and expanded the power of district attorneys to treat juveniles as adults.


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Frontline: When Kids Get Life

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