Nathan is serving life without parole. He was 16 he was charged with a crime. He has been behind bars for 13 years. Nathan was sexually, physically and mentally abused by both his parents from a very young age. Nathan killed his mother on his last day of abuse. Kids convicted of similar or worse crimes before and after Nathan’s conviction did not get life in prison without parole. The U.S. is currently the only country on Earth that still sentences kids to life in prison without parole.
The Columbine school rampage happened 10 miles away from Nathans trial site and only a few months before his trial started, making adult jurors hungry to convict any kid suspected of committing any crime.
Under a law called "direct file, " the district attorneys decision to try Nathan as an adult was never reveiwed by a judge. If Nathan had been tried as a Juvenile he would have eventually earned an opportunity for rehabilitation.
It can happen to anyone. Once a person is arrested it is almost impossible to get out of the legal system. The legal appeals system is structured to support convictions, not justice. Only 4% of convictions are successfully appealed.
The legal system is broken. When adults kill children they always get less punishment than when kids kill parents. There are a number of things that are wrong with our legal system
Direct file – D.A.’s can try a kid as a juvenile or an adult without giving any reasons
Court room theatrics – A good performance is often more important that good evidence
Hearsay – Sometimes a friend who told a friend, who told a friend, is considered evidence
Solitary confinement – Prisoners are sometimes locked up for years, but it doesn’t work as a deterrent
Overcharging – used by D.A.’s to sway juries and as a bargaining tool
Too many laws – We elect legislators who pass laws that are impossible to repeal and remain unchanged without ever being reviewed.
Example – A 65 year old man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for not having proper paperwork for importing orchids.
Justice is harsher in U.S. that any other rich country. In the United States 5 times more people are in prison than Great Britian, 9 times more than in Germany and 12 times more than Japan
In 1970 one in 400 Americans were behind bars, now more than one in 100 are behind bars.
Retribution or rehabilitation – The U.S. justice system is now more about punishing than rehabilitation.
Juveniles under the age of 18 cannot serve on the same jury that can convict them and sentence them to life in prison without parole. This makes no sense.
The law enforcement involved with Nathan’s conviction have said that it was a crime of passion, they say he snapped, yet he was convicted of premeditated murder.
Its time to get involved. Please sign our petition to ask Governor John Hickenlooper for clemency in the case of Nathan Ybanez
Darrell Griffin started this petition with a single signature, and now has 140 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.