Clemency for 14 year old sentenced in 2007 to 25 years, serving a mandatory time of 100%.
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What were you doing at the age of 14? Now imagine facing a 25 year to life prison sentence at this age? Do you feel a split second should determine your whole life? And are you the same person now that you were then? This was the case for one young man 10 years ago, a child being punished as an adult.
In 2007 Brian Harrington Jr. was 14 years old when he found himself in an inexplicable situation with the law for the first time in his life. An older relative of Brian had set up a gun sale with another young man, who he had brought into the neighborhood where Brian resided. On this day a split second changed the lives of those involved forever; ultimately the unfortunate loss of a life and the imprisonment of Brian. In the process of the sale, the gun was handed to Brian by an 18 year old relative, and without the knowledge that the gun was loaded, Brian reached in to display the gun. In this moment the buyer attempted to drive away. Brian's instinctive reaction to pull back from a moving vehicle caused the gun to discharge. This was the moment that changed everything. Later Brian would be in custody along with the others involved. He was facing involuntary manslaughter charges in juvenile court. Brian was interrogated without representation or even the presence of a legal guardian. He was told he was lying, this was not an accident, and the goal was to rob the young man. The three other young men also involved were all questioned and had consistent stories of a gun deal and the accidental discharge of the gun. Subsequently police offered all the young men the option to admit to a robbery, thereby promising leniency in their sentencing in return placing all fault on Brian, they complied. Brian however, maintained all along that it was an accident and thereby being the only one refusing to change his statement to suit the desired narrative of the detectives, he thus became the target of a felony murder charge. Brian was transferred to adult court and tried as an adult. At 14 years old Brian was sentenced under the same previsions and guidelines as an adult would if found in the same situation. Facing a 25 to a life sentence, Brian took a plea of 25 years and was placed under Illinois's Truth in Sentencing law. This TIS is a mandatory 100% time given by the court to be served, no possibility of parole.
Now 10 years in to his sentence, Brian still thinks of the young man and his family. He wishes the best for them, and would hope for them to know he never intentionally meant to hurt anyone. Brian has seen 7 different facilities, and has made the decision to make the best out of his situation and self educate. He has achieved his G.E.D, he received his Associate Degree with honors, studies law, active in the basketball team and coaches the baseball team, is an extremely talented portrait artist and writer, and works within the facility as an art instructor. Our goal is to have his sentence revisited and clemency granted by the governor of Illinois, in hopes of bringing Brian home sooner. If Brian receives no relief he will return to the world as a 40 year old man after completing his entire sentence for something that was ultimately an accident, 14-40? By bringing attention to this inequity, and with your support we hope to reach our goal. Thank you.
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