On February 13th, the Illinois Coalition for Fair Sentencing of Children released a new report, Categorically Less Culpable: Children Sentenced to Life Without Possibility of Parole in Illinois.
The Northwestern Law website has links to more information related to the report. The following is a summary of the coalition’s recommendations to the Illinois legislature:
– Pass legislation that abolishes the sentence of life without the possibility of parole for children
– Apply this new legislation retroactively
– Include victim notification provisions in any legislation passed
It’s interesting to note that the executive summary of the report notes that in 2006, Colorado outlawed juvenile LWOP outright. What the summary fails to note though is that Colorado failed to apply the elimination of juvenile LWOP retroactively.
This inequity has to be righted. Across the country, there is momentum to eliminate juvenile LWOP. In Colorado we’ve made some progress, but we have to continue to fight for retroactivity for the 46 inmates remaining for whom retroactivity was not extended.
If we believe LWOP is unfair for juveniles yet to be sentenced, it’s unfair to those already sentenced.