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End Juvenile Life Without Parole!

facebook.com/PennsylvaniaPrisonSociety -- In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Roper v. Simmons that the death penalty is unconstitutional for individuals sentenced for crimes committed as juveniles because a child's mind is not as developed as an adult. However, children can still be sentenced to life sentences and in some states, including Pennsylvania, life means life -- there is no parole eligibility. Pennsylvania holds more juvenile lifers than anywhere else in the world and may get one more – a 12-year-old. The Commonwealth is one of 13 states that can apply this type of sentence with no minimum age requirement.

There are currently more than 2,500 individuals serving life sentences for crimes committed as a juvenile: 59% had no prior convictions and 26% were convicted because a co-defendant committed murder. These children stand a higher risk of being raped, murdered and assaulted or committing suicide while incarcerated.

No other country in the world sentences juveniles to a life sentence without possibility of parole and in doing so, the U.S. is at odds with three United Nations' resolutions: The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, The Declaration of the Rights of the Child, and The Convention on the Rights of the Child. The U.S. and Somalia are the only two countries that have not ratified this document.

If girls as old as 15 can not be responsible for consensual sex, why can a child of 11 be tried as an adult and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole?

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    Tamara S started this petition with a single signature, and now has 1,453 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.