Keep children out of adult courtrooms and prisons
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Back in 2009, 15 year old boy Andrew Lorek was arrested for shooting and killing someone to show his allegiance to a gang. A few months before a 14 year old boy committed a very similar crime, he as well confessed to shooting and killing another teenager to prove his commitment to a gang. Both teens were found guilty and charged for first degree murder, but were incarcerated in vastly different ways. Since Andrew’s 15th birthday was just a couple weeks before his offense, he was tried in adult court where are the other teenager was able to stay in juvenile court. In Illinois, when you are 15 years of age you can be tried in adult court for larger scale offenses from being armed unlawfully, to murder. Because of this rule, Andrew was sentenced to 28 years in prison, which means when he will be released at age 43. Whereas for the 14-year-old boy, he will only be in jail until he turns 21. Seven years versus 28 in prison from virtually committing the same exact crime doesn’t seem too fair. By the time Andrew’s sentence is up, some would consider 43 and age where it is “too late” to do anything with your life. But the other boy will be back out on the streets at 21, being the perfect age to finish school, get his diploma, and find a better job and potentially live a better life than is he was in the alternative position (Eldeib). With your help we can stop children from being locked up for the rest of their lives and help them get back on their feet.
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