Why does the US allow children to face decades in prison? | TV Shows

On Monday, June 27 at 19:30 GMT:
Almeer Nance was 16 years previous when he joined two different individuals in an armed theft that ended within the homicide of a retailer supervisor within the US state of Tennessee.

However although he didn’t fireplace the deadly shot throughout the assault in Knoxville in 1996, Nance was tried as an grownup, convicted of felony homicide, after which sentenced to a minimal of 51 years in jail. In marked distinction, one other teenage confederate obtained only a one-year time period.

Nance’s case is the main focus of Fault Strains’ new movie “51 Years Behind Bars“. The documentary examines Tennessee’s strict legal guidelines on necessary minimal sentencing for homicide – that are being challenged on the state’s supreme courtroom – and follows Nance’s household and supporters as they combat to deliver him residence.

Whereas Tennessee has a number of the US’s most punitive sentencing legal guidelines, different US states additionally take a harsh line relating to prosecuting juveniles – particularly kids and younger individuals of color. 13 US states, together with Tennessee, haven’t any minimal age for making an attempt kids as adults. “Youngsters as younger as eight can nonetheless be charged as an grownup, held in an grownup jail, and sentenced to excessive sentences in an grownup jail,” the Equal Justice Initiative says.

The distinction between how kids and younger individuals are handled by US courts and jail programs and another elements of the world is stark. In Germany, kids underneath 14 should not held criminally accountable, whereas within the Netherlands the age of felony accountability is 12.

Lately, some US states have adopted a extra progressive strategy. Massachusetts in 2018 raised the age of juvenile courtroom jurisdiction from seven to 12 – a part of a wider overhaul of justice legal guidelines which have resulted in a drop in arrests and jail time for younger offenders. Advocates for US reform say that adopting restorative justice is an efficient solution to rehabilitate juvenile offenders and restore the injury brought on by the crime, whereas additionally tackling stubbornly excessive recidivism charges throughout the nation.Why does the US permit kids to face many years in jail?

On this episode of The Stream we’ll take a look at “51 Years Behind Bars”, ask why so many kids and younger individuals convicted of crimes within the US face such punitive sentences, and think about what reforms are doable.

On this episode of The Stream, we’re joined by:
Rahim Buford, @Rahimbuford
Director, Unheard Voices Outreach

Rafiah Muhammad-McCormick
Co-ordinator for Group Outreach, Tennesseans for Options to the Loss of life Penalty (TADP)

Michael Bochenek, @MichaelBochenek
Senior counsel on kids’s rights, Human Rights Watch

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