Bonus points to anyone who knows where that title comes from.
Anyway I was driving home from lunch listening to talk radio when I heard some news piece put out by some kind of Jewish organization whose name I can't recall, about minors in prison serving life sentences. Of course the statistics were compiled by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, organizations with good intentions that I think tend to go overboard. (I think they were way off on the whole Gitmo thing.) But the stats caught my interest. In the United States there are currently 2,225 youths under the age of 18 serving life sentences. I'm not sure if that means there is no hope for parole or what. In the entire rest of the world, they were able to find 12 other such convicts under 18.
In the U.S. 56% of those lifers under 18 had no prior criminal records. And 26% of those were in for felony murder, where they were not the actual trigger person in a murder. Ya know, like they participated in an armed robbery where someone ended up dead. 8 states specifically prohibit giving life sentences to minors, and recently a ban on capital punishment for minors came to the conclusion that minors are catagorically less culpable than adults. (Say that 10 times fast.) That should obviously apply to life sentences too then, shouldn't it? In a corrections system where felons go in for stealing cars to support their drug habit and come out hardened murders, should kids be forced to pay for their mistakes with a life behind bars?