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Saturday, December 31, 2011

whether adolescent offenders should be prosecuted in the juvenile or adult system is important

The question of whether adolescent offenders should be prosecuted in the juvenile or adult system is important


Most states’ juvenile justice systems have two main goals: increased public safety and the rehabilitation of
adolescent off enders to prevent future crime. Policymakers and others need balanced information about
the most eff ective ways to meet both goals.
Currently, North Carolina, New York, and Connecticut are the only states that prosecute 16- and 17-year-olds
charged with a crime in adult criminal court. The North Carolina General Assembly is addressing the question of
whether 16- and 17-year-olds charged with a crime should be prosecuted in juvenile court instead.
The question of whether adolescent offenders should be prosecuted in the juvenile or adult system is important
because off enders aged 16-24 account for 37 percent of arrests for violent crimes in the United States and North
Carolina. Policies that impact the frequency and duration of criminal activity among 16- and 17-year-olds have a
major impact on overall crime rates and public safety.
Th is Family Impact Seminar briefing report addresses the line between the juvenile and adults systems. A “family
impact perspective” on policymaking informs this report. Just as policymakers routinely consider the environmental
or economic impact of policies and programs, Family Impact Seminars help policymakers examine impact on
families by providing research fi ndings and evidence-based strategies.
Th is report consists of five briefs:
Brief 1 provides background and recent history on the handling of adolescent off enders in the United
States and North Carolina; a description of how the current North Carolina juvenile justice system works;
recent North Carolina juvenile justice statistics; and information on programs and facilities for adolescent
off enders in North Carolina and other states.
Brief 2 discusses research on youth development pertaining to three
issues central to policies for adolescent off enders: blameworthiness,
competence to stand trial, and the potential for an adolescent’s
character to change.
Brief 3 details how other states treat adolescent off enders.
Brief 4 discusses research on how juvenile crime rates respond to
changes in punishment laws.
Brief 5 presents three policy options and a series of further
considerations.
Th e briefi ng report concludes with a glossary, a list of acronyms, a list of
additional resources,and a chart of the current legal age in NC for diff erent
activities.

juveniles housed in detention centers are awaiting an adjudicatory or dispositional hearing.
Four NC counties (Durham, Forsyth, Guilford, and
Mecklenburg) operate their own detention centers. The DOC has two main correctional institutions for
“youthful off enders.” Th ese facilities, where juveniles transferred to adult court are housed after conviction, are
Western Youth Institution (WYI) in Morganton (males only) and North Carolina Correctional Institute for
Women (NCCIW) in Raleigh (females only). Inmates at
WYI range in age from 13 to 25. (Historically, youthful offenders in DOC are off enders 21 years of age and under.
The inclusion of off enders ages 22 to 25 is a product of the declining youthful off ender population and the use of the
available space for older inmates.) NCCIW houses female inmates of all ages. DOC strives to separate older and younger inmates in both institutions.

North Carolina has three types of facilities for adolescent offenders: youth development centers, detention centers,
and correctional institutions.21 NCDJJDP operates five youth development centers and nine detention centers.
Th e NC Department of Correction (DOC) operates correctional institutions. Both departments also operate community-based services.

Youth development centers house off enders age 10 to 21 for one year, on average, and provide youth mentoring, education,
and treatment, with an emphasis on rehabilitation. In recent
years, NCDJJDP has adopted a number of evidence-based therapeutic programs in youth development centers.
Detention centers have fewer and more limited services and staff than youth development centers since the
majority of.
All off ending 16- and 17-year-olds would continue to be tried in the adult criminal system, regardless of their crime. If convicted, 16- and 17-year-olds would be sentenced in adult courts and would have permanent criminal records, unless they petition the
court to have their record expunged.

Note: Under current North Carolina law, expungement is available only for misdemeanor off enses committed prior to age 18, except for misdemeanor possession of
alcohol or drugs, and one, low-level felony for simple possession of cocaine.
Programming, treatment, and other services for
16- and 17-year-olds would continue to be operated by the Department of Correction and are similar to
those available to adults. Some of these services are designed specifi cally for youthful off enders.
Some Resource Considerations
Resources could remain at current levels; however,
state DOC officials would need to continue to develop programming for adolescent off enders and may be responsible for meeting federal requirements
for mental health, social services, and education.
Over the past few years, the NCDJJDP has been developing a continuum of evidence-based services, many of which are appropriate for 16- and 17-yearold
offenders. The services would generally not beavailable to young off enders in the adult system.

http://www.njjn.org/uploads/digital_library/resource_658.pdf

Napoleon Beazley Was Executed In Texas For A Crime Of A Juvenile In 2002

Napoleon Beazley was executed in Texas in may 2002 for a crime committed
eight years earlier, when he was 17 years old. In Feb. 2002 Napoleon's lawyers
took his case to the Inter-American Commision on Human Rights (ACHR)
In A decision published in Jan. 2004, the (ACHR) concluded that the USA had violated an International Norm of juscogens prohibiting the execution of anyone under 18 at the time of their crime. Its decision explained that
jus cogens norm is one that is binding in all countries,including the USA.
The commission concluded that Napoleon's family should be provided
with an ("effective remedy which included compensation.")

http://news.amenesty.org/index/ENGPOL300062004

Nanon was 17 When He Was Sent To Texas Death Row.He Was 36 When Finally Released

On August 17 2010 Judge Atlas held a de novo on Nanon's case on the issue of ineffective assistance of counsel.

Now, the state of Texas has 30 days to appeal this ruling by Judge Atlas. To appeal, they would have to go to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. But it was the 5th Circuit that ordered Nanon's case sent back to the Federal District Court for a de novo hearing. So, to us who are not lawyers, it seems unlikely the 5th Circuit would deny Atlas' ruling.

Nanon was only 17 years old when he was arrested for capital murder in 1992.
He was on Texas death row until the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed the execution of juveniles
in 2005. Nanon is now 36 years old and at the Ramsey Unit south of Houston serving a life sentence.

http://texasdeathpenalty.blogspot.com/2010/11/nanon-williams-ordered-released.html
-------------------------------------------------------------
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Nanon Williams Ordered To Be RELEASED!
-------------------------------------
http://news.amenesty.org/index/ENGPOL300062004

Nanon Williams was waiting execution on Texas's Death Row
For a crime he committed when he was 17 years old. There was serious doubts
about his guilt. False Balistics,evidence presented by the state-A possible sign
of systemic problems at the Houston police Department's crime laboratory
-went unchallenaged by an un-prepared defence lawyer.
After hearing the post conviction evidence,a state Judge found that it had
been the states prime witness,not Nanon Williams, who had first shot the victim.
The Judge decided Nonon Williams should receive a new trial because he been
denied his right to effective assistance of counsel.
In 2002 however:
The Texas court of Criminal Appeals rejected the Judges recommendation
with mininal explation.A Mental Health Expert has said that Nanon Williams
suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of his violent upbringing.

Jury was presented with no such Expert evidence, And received a limited account
of his abusive past and it's impact on him.
At the same time, The Prosecutor made arguments for Execution that were not only
potentially inflammatory, but also flouted a central principle underlying
the International Ban on the Execution of child offenders, namely a young persons
potential for rehabiliation and change.
In view of the false evidence that was presented to Nanon Williams Jury
and the inadequacy of his defence representation, Amnesty International was calling
for Nanon Williams to be granted a new trial.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

JUVIES - What's happened to me?

JUVIES - What's happened to me?

Check out this video on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vPrhXiAvgs&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Friday, December 2, 2011

From fiscal year 2005 to fiscal year 2010, Texas courts certified nearly 1,300 youths as adults

Texas judges, particularly in Harris County, are sending hundreds of adolescent, first-time violent offenders to state prison, a punishment lawmakers intended for youths considered the worst of the worst, according to a report set for release today.

“Adult jails and adult prisons are simply the wrong place to hold these kids,” says Michele Deitch, a professor at the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs and author of the report "Juveniles in the Adult Criminal Justice System in Texas."

Texas law allows judges to certify as adults youths between the ages of 14 and 17 who have committed felony offenses. Once certified, they are housed in county jails while they await trial and, if convicted, they are sent the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

But young, violent offenders can also be given so-called determinate sentences of up to 40 years that begin in the Texas Youth Commission — and only continue on to adult prisons if the judge determines that is necessary.

From fiscal year 2005 to fiscal year 2010, Texas courts certified nearly 1,300 youths as adults. During that same time, about 860 youths received determinate sentences. According to the report, though, there was little difference in the criminality among youths sentenced to the adult system and those who were sent to youth facilities. In both cases, the majority committed a violent crime like aggravated robbery or sexual assault, and had one or no previous juvenile court cases.

The Tribune thanks our Supporting Sponsors

In most cases, the obvious difference was where the offender was tried. Harris County courts certified twice as many juvenile offenders as adults as any other county over the four-year time period studied. Judges in Harris County certified 301 youths as adults. Dallas County, by comparison, certified 141 offenders as adults during the same time period.

The problem with sending so many youths to adult facilities, particularly those who are not repeat violent offenders, is that they are not designed to rehabilitate and educate adolescents, Deitch said. Youths who are sent to adult prisons, she said, have a 100 percent greater risk of committing future violent offenses, according to the Centers for Disease Control. They are also more likely to develop mental health problems in prison, to be physically and sexually assaulted and to commit suicide.

As lawmakers consider expanding juvenile justice reforms they started in 2007, and work to keep more youths in community-based facilities and treatment programs, Deitch said they ought to also change the laws that allow youths to spend time in adult jails and prisons. Juveniles should only be eligible for sentencing to adult prison if they have first been through the juvenile system, she said. And while youths are awaiting trial, she said, they should be confined in local juvenile facilities, not county jails that are not equipped to deal with adolescents.

But Bill Connolly, a juvenile defense lawyer in Houston, said it was lawmakers' overzealous reform efforts that likely boosted the number of young offenders being sent to adult facilities. Lawmakers dropped the eligible age for Texas Youth Commission sentences from 21 to 19. When that happened, Connolly said, prosecutors were less likely to recommend that young people get sentenced to youth facilities because they wouldn't have enough time to benefit from the rehabilitation programs that TYC offers. For example, if a young person was charged with a violent offense at age 17, he could be ordered to participate in TYC's Capital and Serious Violent Offenders Program. But the wait to get into the program is at least one year, and it takes another year to complete the program."You don't have enough time to do that," Connolly said. So prosecutors and judges are more likely to send the young offender straight to the adult system if the crime is serious.

Lawmakers have already filed some bills that would address concerns about youths in adult prisons. State Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, said judges usually only send the worst of the worst young offenders to the adult system and that each case should be examined individually. But he submitted a measure that would allow youths who have been certified as adults to stay in juvenile facilities while they await trial. And state Reps. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, and Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, have filed measures that would limit the types of offenses that would make an offender eligible for certification as an adult.

Ana YaƱez-Correa, executive director of the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, said keeping youths in the juvenile system, where programs are designed to deal with their developing brains and characters, will produce better results and make Texans safer in the long run. “The bottom line is youths do not belong in adult settings,” she said.

Texas Tribune reporter Christopher Smith Gonzalez contributed reporting for this story
http://www.texastribune.org/texas-state-agencies/texas-youth-commission/report-hundreds-of-youths-in-adult-prisons/

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Jacksonville FLA. 12 Year Old Faces Life In Prison

JACKSONVILLE, FLA. – The 1st degree murder defendant, with relatives in the Dominican Republic, wears inmate-orange and handcuffs inside the courtroom.

Every police officer is taller than him. As are all of the other criminal defendants. The judge, as well.

This defendant is the youngest person to ever be charged as an adult with murder in Jacksonville, Florida.

He is 12 years old.

If convicted, could spend the rest of his life in prison. His name is Cristian Fernandez.

“Yes, I have compassion for Cristian Fernandez, but it's not my job to forgive,” says Florida State Attorney Angela Corey. “It's my job to follow the law."

Police say Cristian Fernandez used premeditation and intentionally killed his brother David by violently shoving the two-year old into a bookshelf, twice, causing a skull fracture and massive internal bleeding.

The medical examiner ruled David’s cause of death as homicide, by blunt force trauma. The mother of both children, 25 year old Bianela Susana, is also in jail, unable to post her $1 million bond. She’s charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child and felony child abuse and, if convicted, she faces 30 years in prison.

Allegedly, 12-year-old Cristian has confessed.

But on his behalf, there is international outrage. More than 170,000 people have signed an online petition, urging the prosecutor to treat the 12 year old as a juvenile, not as an adult. The prosecutor disagrees, and says Florida law is Florida law.

The Sunshine State sends more juveniles into the adult prison population than any other state. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2009, 393 Florida juveniles entered adult prison, followed by Connecticut with 332, North Carolina with 215, New York with 190, Arizona with 157 and Texas with 156.

“He’s just a kid,” says Alicia Torres. Her son was a classmate of Cristian Fernandez. She signed the petition, too.

"He's a child. He's got a baby face,” says Torres. “He doesn't know - he doesn't know what's going on."

Complicating the Fernandez case is the role of the mother, Susana. Police say during the several hour window between when David was injured and she drove him to the hospital, her laptop shows that she searched what to do about an unconscious boy, checked her bank and downloaded music, before finally taking 2 year old David to the hospital.

A doctor at St. Luke’s told a police officer that had 2 year old David been treated sooner, he may have survived.

Twelve-year-old Cristian Fernandez’ public defenders believe all of the blame belongs with the mother.

" I think many would argue that she's the most culpable when it comes to the death of this child, says Matt Shirk."

In light of a plea deal that may spare this 140 pound murder defendant from the adult system, Fernandez will next be in court October 31st. His trial date has not yet been set.

The mother, Susana, goes on trial February 27th, 2012.

Phil Keating is national correspondent for Fox News Channel out of the Miami bureau.

Follow us on twitter.com/foxnewslatino




Read more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2011/10/19/child-murder-suspect-cristian-fernandezs-case-sparks-outrage/#ixzz1eW5cbIU8

NOTE>UPDATE>Cristian Fernandez | jacksonville.com





jacksonville.com/news/crime/cristian-fernandez


Prosecutors offer murder plea to Cristian Fernandez; defense plans to reject it.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Michigan has more juvenile life sentences than almost any other state

Why Michigan has more juvenile life sentences than almost any other state

By John Barnes November 06, 2011,

http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2011/11/why_michigan_has_more_juvenile.html

A state industry

Michigan spends more than $10 million a year to house more juvenile lifers than all but one other state, Pennsylvania.

In all, 358 inmates are serving life sentences for crimes committed from ages 14 to 17. One in five has been in prison 25 years or longer.

The oldest is 67, now that two older lifers have died.



What the numbers show

Juvenile lifers look a lot alike. They are almost exclusively male. Two out of three are black. Most were 17 at the time, but 45 percent were 16 and younger. Nearly half did their crimes in the 1990s

Juvenile lifers look a lot alike

A state industry

Michigan spends more than $10 million a year to house more juvenile lifers than all but one other state, Pennsylvania.

In all, 358 inmates are serving life sentences for crimes committed from ages 14 to 17. One in five has been in prison 25 years or longer.

The oldest is 67, now that two older lifers have died.
What the numbers show

Juvenile lifers look a lot alike. They are almost exclusively male. Two out of three are black. Most were 17 at the time, but 45 percent were 16 and younger. Nearly half did their crimes in the 1990s.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Comments On Amber Riley's Conviction

Local News: San Bernardino
San BernardinoNews Forums & Polls Judge to decide if wo...
Real-Time News

Judge to decide if woman gets new murder trial
Full story: San Bernardino County Sun

A jury convicted Amber Rose Riley nine months ago of participating in the grisly stabbing death of Terry Taylor atop Perris Hill in San Bernardino.


16 Comments
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Showing posts 1 - 16 of16 harley dog
United States
Reply »
|Report Abuse |Judge it! |#1 Dec 30, 2009
Judged:
1
unless she is gonna get a bigger punishment no new trial, they should both get death and not after twenty years in the pen i mean now !!!!


Checkpoint charlie

Since: Jul 08

845

Location hidden
Please wait... Reply »
|Report Abuse |Judge it! |#2 Dec 31, 2009

|Report Abuse |Judge it! |#3 Jan 1, 2010
Judged:
1
I see your reporter has never read the police transcripts? No where does she say any of this! Even the Dectective on the case Munoz stated to me the story was a bit twisted~ But then he stated & I quote " Yes it Is a bit twisted" But no one reads The Sun telegram anyways"
Frank Mitchell The III
AOL
Reply »
|#4 Jan 1, 2010
Judged:

1
Miss Amber Rose Riley is innocent of murder, period. She should have never been convicted, though, technically, she had a “jury of her peers” in this case. Miss Riley did not receive a fair trial. Getting to the point, here are the reasons that this is true:.
?” Testimony from professionals in the field of mental health as to the science and history of people being beaten, tortured, constantly abused and under stress, and how these people have behaved under intimidating and threatening conditions.
Harris admitted that he killed Terry Ray Taylor; that Amber Rose Riley didn’t have anything to do with the killing, and that the facts were evident that he was convicted and sentenced for this crime.
> Deputy district attorney, Karen Khim, despite hearing testimony from the actual killer, dismissed it, saying that (sp.)“…..
7. Just relying on the testimony of the actual killer, Jason Lamar Harris, the San Bernardino District Attorney should have thrown out the case against Amber Riley.
8. Harris is four years older than Amber Riley (you know of any male street hoodlum, with a criminal record, who takes orders from a female younger than himself? Have you ever known of an adult male street criminal, in the slime sleazebag debased “hip-hop” Black Culture of America Today, who takes orders, or suggestions, from an underage white girl?) Amber Rose Riley had no criminal history whatsoever; Jason Lamar Harris was a known-to-community “outlaw.”
At no time in North American history, except during slavery at the most sadistic and oppressive plantations of the South, has an American-born black adult male “outlaw” or criminal ever listen-to and taken suggestions of criminal activity, from a white female, especially an underage white female that he beats and abuses. No male criminal has ever been known to take suggestions, or orders, from adult or teen females. Not even the Mason Family women ever suggested, or ordered, Charles Manson to savagely kill innocent people.
>
Since 1994, more than 214-and-still-counting men and women have been freed from California state prisons after being found completely innocent of the crimes that got them convicted and sentenced to state incarceration in the first place.
: Gloria Killian, 17-1/2 years in prison before being found innocent and set free; Kevin Green, 16 years in prison; Dewayne McKinney, 19 years in prison; Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt, 26 years in prison; Scott and Brenda Kniffen, 14 years in prison; Maria Suarez, 24 years in prison, officially declared innocent.Hundreds of women in prison, some being there for over twenty years, who were battered and threaten women who used lethal force out of fear, or protection, of their lives. Most were denied a “battered woman’s defense” that only became available (at defense attorney’s discretion) after 1997.
Please, throw this tainted and highly suspect jury conviction out of court. Give Amber Riley a new trial and allow her to face a real jury of her peers (and, not the “Robert Blake” idiots and media cameral hopefuls that populated her past jury), seek competent defense counsel, and have an honest and fair trial.
There’s enough actual and circumstantial facts and evidence showing why she certainly deserves a real honest fail trial.
Thank you very much.
Frank Mitchell, III.
c.c. Chris Blatchford of Fox 11 News.
Brian Townsend, editor, The Precinct Reporter, Tri-County Bulletin.
Training Attorney, John Zitney, of County of San Bernardino Public Defenders Office.
Orange County Branch N.A.A.C.P. Los Angeles Branch N.A.A.C.P.
-
terrys mom
Springfield, IL
Reply »
Jan 9, 2010
Judged:
1
1st of all they need to get the dates right!!! 2nd i think the bitch should go to hell for what she did to my son
Terry cousin
Springfield, IL
Reply »
Apr 8, 2010
Judged:
1
@Frank Mitchell The III

If Amber Riley is innocent why did she tell Det. Munoz that she killed terry with her boyfriend.

PROVE SHE IS INNOCENT NOW
unknown
Colorado Springs, CO
Reply »
Jul 4, 2010
Frank Mitchell The III wrote:
Miss Amber Rose Riley is innocent of murder, period. She should have never been convicted, though, technically, she had a “jury of her peers” in this case. Miss Riley did not receive a fair trial. Getting to the point, here are the reasons that this is true:.
?” Testimony from professionals in the field of mental health as to the science and history of people being beaten, tortured, constantly abused and under stress, and how these people have behaved under intimidating and threatening conditions.
Harris admitted that he killed Terry Ray Taylor; that Amber Rose Riley didn’t have anything to do with the killing, and that the facts were evident that he was convicted and sentenced for this crime.
> Deputy district attorney, Karen Khim, despite hearing testimony from the actual killer, dismissed it, saying that (sp.)“…..
7. Just relying on the testimony of the actual killer, Jason Lamar Harris, the San Bernardino District Attorney should have thrown out the case against Amber Riley.
8. Harris is four years older than Amber Riley (you know of any male street hoodlum, with a criminal record, who takes orders from a female younger than himself? Have you ever known of an adult male street criminal, in the slime sleazebag debased “hip-hop” Black Culture of America Today, who takes orders, or suggestions, from an underage white girl?) Amber Rose Riley had no criminal history whatsoever; Jason Lamar Harris was a known-to-community “outlaw.”
At no time in North American history, except during slavery at the most sadistic and oppressive plantations of the South, has an American-born black adult male “outlaw” or criminal ever listen-to and taken suggestions of criminal activity, from a white female, especially an underage white female that he beats and abuses. No male criminal has ever been known to take suggestions, or orders, from adult or teen females. Not even the Mason Family women ever suggested, or ordered, Charles Manson to savagely kill innocent people.
>
Since 1994, more than 214-and-still-counting men and women have been freed from California state prisons after being found completely innocent of the crimes that got them convicted and sentenced to state incarceration in the first place.
: Gloria Killian, 17-1/2 years in prison before being found innocent and set free; Kevin Green, 16 years in prison; Dewayne McKinney, 19 years in prison; Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt, 26 years in prison; Scott and Brenda Kniffen, 14 years in prison; Maria Suarez, 24 years in prison, officially declared innocent.Hundreds of women in prison, some being there for over twenty years, who were battered and threaten women who used lethal force out of fear, or protection, of their lives. Most were denied a “battered woman’s defense” that only became available (at defense attorney’s discretion) after 1997.
Please, throw this tainted and highly suspect jury conviction out of court. Give Amber Riley a new trial and allow her to face a real jury of her peers (and, not the “Robert Blake” idiots and media cameral hopefuls that populated her past jury), seek competent defense counsel, and have an honest and fair trial.
There’s enough actual and circumstantial facts and evidence showing why she certainly deserves a real honest fail trial.
Thank you very much.
Frank Mitchell, III.
c.c. Chris Blatchford of Fox 11 News.
Brian Townsend, editor, The Precinct Reporter, Tri-County Bulletin.
Training Attorney, John Zitney, of County of San Bernardino Public Defenders Office.
Orange County Branch N.A.A.C.P. Los Angeles Branch N.A.A.C.P.
-
Well good point but I knew both of then and hung out with jason now im not playing side here but amber was very aggressive person. Her age has nothing to do with it. now jason I met him back in 2000 he actually introduced me to the band linkin park. An older brother of 3 others who of witch are very good kids same with his mom nice lady. too bad he threw hes life away over this girl
unknown
Colorado Springs, CO
Reply »
|Report Abuse |Judge it! |#8 Jul 4, 2010
terrys mom wrote:
1st of all they need to get the dates right!!! 2nd i think the bitch should go to hell for what she did to my son
sorry for your loss I truly am


Anonymous
San Diego, CA
Reply »
|Report Abuse |Judge it! |#9 Nov 6, 2010
Judged:
1
1
I am Anonymous I have no face...just a point of view, from the time and place of such workings.
i knew the both of them, jason was also known as "Demon" and amber was my best friend for three years...we were so close...she was innocent, i have an ability for reading people, he was a demented young man who tortured and killed animals, her on the other hand helped save rescue lost and abused animals, she was a kind person, and would never harm anyone, no one really tried to even listen to my story and yet i was suspected of being an accomplice, amber never really listened to metal, and allegations of this are un-true, i think frank mitchell is one of the only ones who believe the truth, I am very sorry for the family(of terry)loss, but spouting blatant hate and blind fury is not going to help any, and this heaven /hell nonsense is really un-necessary, i knew him as well, and except for being kinda slow he was ok but also it was a jealous rage with Jason harris he wanted Amber Riley and she like Terry, I wont go into details, but Jason Abused Amber and just because she was big for her age doesnt mean anything she was still a naiive teenager and amber was no ringleader, he did it to terry and made her watch, and threatened her and her family, Even apparently Myself, after the second time he went to jail(8months) he quickly started to lose it, and during the 2-4 months before the murder she started even trying to keep her from me, and Amber and I were very close, like a real brother and sister, not in a romantic way, we werent each other types, but anyway he started becoming way too posessive and she wanted for us to get rid of him, make him go away, not in a killing him sense but just to leave us alone and i was also the last few months more or less starting to venture out and make friends and have a life outside of her but up untill the murder I didnt really see a change except for maybe being scared and wanting to go home here and there, she was not the monster everyone thinks she is Jason on the other will tell you he is and he enjoyed it, he was a self proclaimed satanist and anitchrist of this generation, she was a sweet youg thing and if she actually did d it or had a part in it other than being a frightened spectator then she was a good actess and played us all for fools, and jasons mother one way or the other is deluded and full of lies, she is a fanatical christian after all, and yes jasons younger brothers and sisters were good kids and hopefully will never follow in his steps. dont try to find me, dont try to even guess who I am, it doesnt matter, ALL that does matter is a point of view. AND just because your not christian and are an athiest or pagan or whatever does not mean you have no morals or honor.
I have much Information that was left out of the case, not that anyone cared. peace be with you all.
sister
Dallas, TX
Reply »
Jan 24, 2011
Judged:
1
1
I know that sweet young girl better than most i am her sister. She would never be capable of such a thing, she has the biggest heart i have ever seen. I am sorry to the young mans family a loss i would never want to endure but instead of speaking from anger and hurt u should do ur damnedest to make sure the monster that actually did this alone and traumatized a beautiful baby for the rest of her life gets his fair punishment fifty yrs in the pen is nowhere near enough punishment for that devil. She was wrongly convicted and has lost her life for something she couldnt control. Now help her come home we need her she needs us and its time she try to live some what of a normL life.
Carolleo
Johnson City, TN
Reply »
Feb 5, 2011
terrys mom wrote:
1st of all they need to get the dates right!!! 2nd i think the bitch should go to hell for what she did to my son
What she did to your son?? You are out of LINE! What did your son do to Amber? he BEAT her, he raped her, he made her watch while he took another HUMAN BEINGS LIFE!!! Now, just who should go to HELL????!!!! Jason will rot away the rest of his life in prison, where he belongs-maybe if YOU would have done a better job at raising this sadistic poor excuse for a hood rat, he wouldnt be where is today!! Can I get an AMEN???!!!
Carolleo
Johnson City, TN
Reply »
Feb 5, 2011
Pardon me, but I thought the post was from Jasons mother; Amber and Terry were friends...she never meant any harm to come to him....if she could have prevented the murder in any way, she would have. I advocate on behalf of Amber and we are looking forward to the day when justice is FINALLY served. Hear me, it is coming....the truth shall prevail!!
Hahaha
Pflugerville, TX
Reply »
Sep 2, 2011
Goddamn, this page has gotten more responses from "family members" than the media...
Knowing
Johnson City, TN
Reply »
16 Sep 2, 2011
Since 1994, more than 214-and-still-counting men and women have been freed from California state prisons after being found completely innocent of the crimes that got them convicted and sentenced to state incarceration in the first place.

the above statement is NOT true- nationally- YES, but CA state prisons!
Knowing
Johnson City, TN
Reply »
Sep 2, 2011
thats to read NOT just CA state prisons!
Anonymous
Barstow, CA
Reply »
Tuesday Oct 4
I know that this woman has a lot to offer this world .... she should get a new trial I've read the transcripts , the hole thing is bul----!Give her her freedom back..........

Thursday, October 27, 2011

12 Year Old FL Boy To Be Charged As An Adult

When Should a Child Be Charged as an Adult?
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/10/22/american-justice-when-should-child-be-charged-as-adult/

Florida, and the death of one of its children, has yet again jumped into the international spotlight. This time it's David Fernandez, a two-and-a-half year old toddler who lost his life because he was allegedly slammed twice into a bookcase by his 12-year-old half-brother, Christian. Afterwards, Christian called his mom, Biannela Susana, 25, who came home right away. . . .

Florida State Attorney, Angela Corey, is proceeding with prosecuting the boy as an adult and Christian at the age of 12 is facing life in prison if found guilty. Corey claims she's going strictly by the book. Turns out, Florida leads the nation in trying children as adults. In 1995, prosecutors sent over 7,000 children to adult court, almost as many as the rest of the nation combined.

Monday, October 10, 2011

ATLANTA : Appeals court allows life sentences for juveniles

Appeals court allows life sentences for juveniles

ATLANTA -- A federal appeals court on Wednesday held that juveniles convicted of murder can be sentenced
to life in prison without parole, seeking to settle a lingering debate over how the courts punish minors
who commit serious offenses.

The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that juveniles cannot be sentenced to death and that the
y also can't be sentenced to life in prison without parole for rape and other non-homicide offenses
. The ruling by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday, though, upheld life sentences for juveniles
convicted of murder.

The decision came in the case against Kenneth Loggins, who was convicted in Alabama of killing
a hitchhiker in 1994 and originally sentenced to die. He was 17 at the time of the killing, so his
punishment was reduced to life without parole because the Supreme Court banned such executions in 2005.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/09/07/2395169/appeals-court-allows-life-sentences.html

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sharing A Quote~On Youth~By Helen Keller

"It is not possible for civilization to flow backwards while
there is youth in the world. Youth may be headstrong,
but it will advance it allotted length."
- Helen Keller

Monday, September 12, 2011

Teen’s life sentence unconstitutional, lawyer argues

Teen’s life sentence unconstitutional, lawyer argues
Posted on 08 September 2011
By John Lyon
Arkansas News Bureau

LITTLE ROCK — A lawyer for an Arkansas teenager serving a life sentence for
capital murder argued today before the Arkansas Supreme Court that the sentence
was unconstitutional because his client was only 16 at the time of the crime and
did not fire the fatal shot.

A lawyer for the state told the justices the sentence is consistent with federal
and state case law.

The high court heard oral arguments but did not immediately issue a ruling in an
appeal by Lemuel Session Whiteside, 19, who was convicted of capital murder and
aggravated robbery and sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole
in the January 2009 shooting death of James London Sr., 30, in Little Rock.

Authorities never accused Whiteside of shooting London. Cambrin Sain Barnes
admitted to being the gunman and pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and
aggravated robbery in exchange for a 40-year sentence. But prosecutors said
Whiteside — who declined to plead guilty — gave the murder weapon to Barnes and
told him where to find London.

Tom Sullivan, attorney for Whiteside, told the justices today that in the case
Graham v. Florida, the U.S. Supreme Court said a sentence of life without parole
is too severe for a juvenile for any offense other than homicide. Such a
sentence violates the Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual
punishment, the court said in that decision.

Sullivan said that as he interprets the decision, Whiteside should not have been
sentenced to life without parole because he did not kill London.

“In this case the defendant is not the shooter, and there has been no proof of
an intent to kill,” he said.

Justice Robert Brown asked Sullivan if he was asking the justices to expand the
Graham v. Florida decision. Sullivan said he was only asking them to interpret
how the decision should apply to a defendant who is convicted of murder but did
not kill anyone.

The decision “leaves open this middle ground,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan also argued that because the death penalty was not an option under
Graham v. Florida, the only option for Whiteside was life without parole, so the
jury was denied a say in the sentence.

Assistant Attorney General Vada Berger told the justices that in the case
Kuntrell Jackson v. Arkansas, the state Supreme Court ruled that a juvenile
could be tried on a charge of capital murder in criminal court rather than
juvenile court, which meant that the juvenile had to be sentenced to life
without parole.

In that case the juvenile maintained that he was a lookout and not the person
who fired the fatal shot during the robbery of a Blytheville video store.

Brown asked Berger if the jury should have had a say in Whiteside’s sentencing.
She said there is no right to be sentenced by a jury.

“The Legislature is the one who gets to decide if there is jury sentencing, and
the Legislature has said there’s no jury sentencing here,” she said.

Berger also said the state established that Whiteside was heavily involved in
the killing.

“This is not a case where there is low culpability,” she said.

In recognition of its 175th birthday, the court met in its former courtroom at
the state Capitol instead of its courtroom at the Justice Building. The change
of venue did not go off without a hitch.

Minutes into the hearing, the court reporter complained that she could not hear
what was being said. The room is not wired for audio or video recording, so the
justices used a pocket recorder to capture the rest of the proceedings.

http://arkansasnews.com/2011/09/08/teen’s-life-sentence-unconstitutional-lawyer-\
argues/

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Are Kids Really Getting A 2md Chance?





If a kid is charged at age 14 or 15 he will be 30 years old before a parole hearing?
What kind of chance is that? Their schooling stops the minute they turn 18 in California, they
pull them out of school and any counseling that they were getting at juvenile hall to
have them sit in county jail where they have nothing to do, unless the family orders them books. But this is just my opinion. (I know it is better then nothing, ) I just wish they could serve until they are 24 or 25 at a youth prison then have a team of experts decide if they should then go into prison. But again This is just my opinion.>Gelly*This opinion comes because in California being at the scene of the crime not even responsible for the actual crime gets a kid a murder sentence.I know for a fact they do not weigh surrounding circumstances, and the kids right's are not protected as they claim.


Sacramento Bee Editorial: Young Lifers Deserve Chance for Redemption
New Bill would allow juveniles with life sentences to petition court for rehearing after 15 years 08-26-2011

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Kentucky kids age 10 and younger routinely face criminal charges

Kentucky kids age 10 and younger routinely face criminal charges
http://www.kentucky.com/2011/08/14/1845047/kentucky-kids-age-10-and-younger.html#ixzz1VMy3U4As
http://www.thecrimereport.org/news/crime-and-justice-news/2011-08-ky-child-charges
Kentucky com 15 August 2011
On at least four occasions last year, 5-year-old children in Kentucky faced charges for alleged criminal mischief, harassment, abuse of a teacher and criminal trespassing. In all, 2,117 criminal charges have been filed against children 10 and younger in Kentucky since 2006. It's a number that shocked a key state lawmaker, who now plans to hold legislative hearings on the issue.

Monday, August 15, 2011

12-year old Paul Gingerich was sentenced Tuesday like an adult

KOSCIUSKO COUNTY, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- He's only a child, but 12-year old Paul Gingerich was sentenced Tuesday like an adult in connection with a gun slaying last spring.

Defense lawyers in the Kosciusko County case say the punishment handed down does not equate to justice served.

A 25-year sentence was doled out to the young boy on a charge of conspiracy to commit murder for the shooting death of 49-year old Phillip Danner.

Danner was shot and killed in his Cromwell home in April of last year.

The sentence for Gingerich is essentially what Danner's 15-year old stepson Colt Lundy received, and Gingerich’s lawyers say that’s not fair, because they believe Lundy was the mastermind behind the killing.

Gingerich told the court he was sorry for what happened to Danner, saying, “I did wrong and I stand ready to take my punishment.”

Lundy obtained guns and he and Gingerich shot and killed Danner, before the two boys and another 12-year old drove to Illinois, where they were apprehended.

Lundy told authorities the boys planned to run away to Arizona and sell t-shirts to drug dealers.

The defense argues Lundy hatched the idea and bullied the others into going along with the killing.

William Cohen/Defense Lawyer: " He's like a pied piper. He's a 15-year old boy telling these 12-year old boys what to do, and that's basically what happened, it's not like Paul Gingerich, a 12-year old, had any idea to do that."

Cohen claims that Lundy at times shot the other boys with BB guns, and that they followed his lead out of fear.

Cohen and co-counsel Fred Franco were most disturbed that Kosciusko County Circuit Court Judge Rex Reed sent Gingerich to the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, a youth incarcerated as adults center, rather than a juvenile prison.

The family of Phillip Danner did not speak at the hearing, but Judge Reed said they expressed their frustration to him in letters, questioning why the murder charges against Lundy and Gingerich were thrown out in plea agreements.

Prosecutors opted to accept the lesser conspiracy to commit murder charges.

http://www.indianasnewscenter.com/news/local/12-Year-Old-Learns-Fate-In-2010-Killing-112901219.html

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

whether adolescent offenders should be prosecuted in the juvenile or adult system is important

The question of whether adolescent offenders should be prosecuted in the juvenile or adult system is important


Most states’ juvenile justice systems have two main goals: increased public safety and the rehabilitation of
adolescent off enders to prevent future crime. Policymakers and others need balanced information about
the most eff ective ways to meet both goals.
Currently, North Carolina, New York, and Connecticut are the only states that prosecute 16- and 17-year-olds
charged with a crime in adult criminal court. The North Carolina General Assembly is addressing the question of
whether 16- and 17-year-olds charged with a crime should be prosecuted in juvenile court instead.
The question of whether adolescent offenders should be prosecuted in the juvenile or adult system is important
because off enders aged 16-24 account for 37 percent of arrests for violent crimes in the United States and North
Carolina. Policies that impact the frequency and duration of criminal activity among 16- and 17-year-olds have a
major impact on overall crime rates and public safety.
Th is Family Impact Seminar briefing report addresses the line between the juvenile and adults systems. A “family
impact perspective” on policymaking informs this report. Just as policymakers routinely consider the environmental
or economic impact of policies and programs, Family Impact Seminars help policymakers examine impact on
families by providing research fi ndings and evidence-based strategies.
Th is report consists of five briefs:
Brief 1 provides background and recent history on the handling of adolescent off enders in the United
States and North Carolina; a description of how the current North Carolina juvenile justice system works;
recent North Carolina juvenile justice statistics; and information on programs and facilities for adolescent
off enders in North Carolina and other states.
Brief 2 discusses research on youth development pertaining to three
issues central to policies for adolescent off enders: blameworthiness,
competence to stand trial, and the potential for an adolescent’s
character to change.
Brief 3 details how other states treat adolescent off enders.
Brief 4 discusses research on how juvenile crime rates respond to
changes in punishment laws.
Brief 5 presents three policy options and a series of further
considerations.
Th e briefi ng report concludes with a glossary, a list of acronyms, a list of
additional resources,and a chart of the current legal age in NC for diff erent
activities.

juveniles housed in detention centers are awaiting an adjudicatory or dispositional hearing.
Four NC counties (Durham, Forsyth, Guilford, and
Mecklenburg) operate their own detention centers. The DOC has two main correctional institutions for
“youthful off enders.” Th ese facilities, where juveniles transferred to adult court are housed after conviction, are
Western Youth Institution (WYI) in Morganton (males only) and North Carolina Correctional Institute for
Women (NCCIW) in Raleigh (females only). Inmates at
WYI range in age from 13 to 25. (Historically, youthful offenders in DOC are off enders 21 years of age and under.
The inclusion of off enders ages 22 to 25 is a product of the declining youthful off ender population and the use of the
available space for older inmates.) NCCIW houses female inmates of all ages. DOC strives to separate older and younger inmates in both institutions.

North Carolina has three types of facilities for adolescent offenders: youth development centers, detention centers,
and correctional institutions.21 NCDJJDP operates five youth development centers and nine detention centers.
Th e NC Department of Correction (DOC) operates correctional institutions. Both departments also operate community-based services.

Youth development centers house off enders age 10 to 21 for one year, on average, and provide youth mentoring, education,
and treatment, with an emphasis on rehabilitation. In recent
years, NCDJJDP has adopted a number of evidence-based therapeutic programs in youth development centers.
Detention centers have fewer and more limited services and staff than youth development centers since the
majority of.
All off ending 16- and 17-year-olds would continue to be tried in the adult criminal system, regardless of their crime. If convicted, 16- and 17-year-olds would be sentenced in adult courts and would have permanent criminal records, unless they petition the
court to have their record expunged.

Note: Under current North Carolina law, expungement is available only for misdemeanor off enses committed prior to age 18, except for misdemeanor possession of
alcohol or drugs, and one, low-level felony for simple possession of cocaine.
Programming, treatment, and other services for
16- and 17-year-olds would continue to be operated by the Department of Correction and are similar to
those available to adults. Some of these services are designed specifi cally for youthful off enders.
Some Resource Considerations
Resources could remain at current levels; however,
state DOC officials would need to continue to develop programming for adolescent off enders and may be responsible for meeting federal requirements
for mental health, social services, and education.
Over the past few years, the NCDJJDP has been developing a continuum of evidence-based services, many of which are appropriate for 16- and 17-yearold
offenders. The services would generally not beavailable to young off enders in the adult system.

http://www.njjn.org/uploads/digital_library/resource_658.pdf

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Nation's Juvenile Defense Bar Drastically Overloaded

Justice Policy Institute: Nation's Juvenile Defense Bar Drastically Overloaded


A new report from the Justice Police Institute (JPI), System Overload: The Costs of
Under-Resourcing Public Defense, documents the excessive caseloads public
defenders carry in most jurisdictions across the country. Because public defense is
not adequately funded, the report argues, defense lawyers do not have enough time
to conduct thorough investigations, or meet with and provide quality representation
for their clients. This results in adverse outcomes for their clients and contributes to
disproportionate representation of people of color and low-income individuals
behind bars.

National standards recommend that public defenders handle no more than 150
felony, 400 misdemeanor, 200 juvenile, 200 mental health, or 25 appeals per year.
According to the report, 73 percent of county-based public defender offices lacked
the requisite number of attorneys to meet caseload standards; 23 percent of these
offices had less than half of the necessary attorneys to meet caseload standards.

Furthermore, nearly 60 percent of county-based public defender offices do not have
caseload limits or the authority to refuse cases due to excessive caseloads.

August 2, 2011
Newsletter
National Juvenile Justice Network

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Using Graham v. Florida to Challenge Juvenile Transfer Laws

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1892424
Using Graham v. Florida to Challenge Juvenile Transfer Laws

Neelum Arya
Campaign for Youth Justice
Louisiana Law Review, Vol. 71, No. 100-155, 2010


Abstract:
The article suggests that the recent Supreme Court opinion in Graham v. Florida abolishing life without parole sentences for juveniles (JLWOP) convicted of nonhomicide crimes, may be used to challenge juvenile transfer laws. Part I provides a description and analysis of the Graham opinion and reviews the Court's Eighth Amendment jurisprudence through to their recent ruling declaring JLWOP sentences for nonhomicide crimes unconstitutional. Part II argues that youth have a right to rehabilitation found under the state's police power. In addition, Graham discusses three types of difficulties that adult decisionmakers in the criminal justice system have with respect to youth that may be useful to challenge transfer laws. First, judges and experts have problems evaluating the culpability and maturity of youth. Second, adult perceptions of youth are biased by the severity and manner in which the crimes were conducted. Third, counsel have difficulty representing youth in the adult system. These factors apply to all youth prosecuted in the adult criminal system, regardless of offense charged or sentence imposed. Finally, Part III encourages lawyers to revisit these prior challenges in both individual cases and as part of impact litigation strategies to declare all transfer statutes, or portions of them, unconstitutional.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 57

Keywords: juvenile justice, Graham v. Florida, youth, Eighth Amendment, life without parole


Date posted: July 22, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Notes On Violation Of Amber's Rights

The following will be actual events with no distortion of the facts as they are known.

Our 16 year old daughter was denied many of her rights, thus leading to a murder conviction for which she will be sentenced soon .
According to due process of law. Regardless of
the charge,juveniles do have rights that differ from adults,
and MUST BE APPLIED when taken into custody,and through of the judicial process,otherwise the system will fail( which it has) and democracy will inevitably cease to exist.
When She was first picked up by police,and taken into custody, she was not allowed 2 completed phone calls within one hour.(Welfare & Institutions Code 627).Her father went to the police station and was told he could not see her
(Penal Code 120.6).
Her 14th Amendment Rights were violated because she was denied counsel (her Father) during questioning. She had very little knowledge of the criminal justice system (Wel.& Institutions Code 30.23).
Mental condition is a very important issue according to Evidence Code 1016a. A 16 year old girl should not be alone with adult male police detectives for questioning because it infringes on the 5th ,6th,& 14th Amendments of the Constitution concerning due process.
Failure of telling her that her father
was there is a direct violation of Wel. & Inst. Code30.11. It is still unclear what probable cause initiated her to be taken into custody(Penal Code 995). Her deprivation of rights and privileges is a violation of U.S. Code 14141a. All of these violations occurred
during her 1st hours of custody.
(Wel.&Inst. Code 627.5)The minor AND parent to be immediately advised that any thing the minor says will be used against him or her, and to be advised of the presence of counsel during interrogation.
(Title 28 United States Code 1343 Provided A Federal court Forum In Which Citizens Can Seek Redress From The Deprivation Of Rights.



When her Father Arrived home after being told to leave the police station, Local police were waiting for him.
Both parents were detained in their own living room not allowed to place or receive phone calls therefore keeping them separated from their daughter while she was being interrogated.
On page 5 of the police report ( Which has been kept from us, only through Amber's property mail this year 2009 we were able to view any paper work) the interrogating officer states "That at 6:08 PM she said she felt like killing herself ,
He states that "she is a danger to herself and others, and is a gravely disabled minor".
Knowing this, he has her sign a Miranda waiver at 7:10 pm, one hour later.
She was admitted to Ward B at Arrowhead Medical Center where she was handcuffed to a chair in a hallway left all night again denied the use of the phone to call us her parents.( After 8 hours of interrogation) She was placed in San Bernardino Juvenile Hall at 9:00 AM in 5/24/03 We were not informed of her whereabouts whatsoever. The way we found out where she was being held her dad went searching for her found her 3 days later in Juvenile hall.
We only came to know her being placed in arrowhead hospital when a bill arrived in our mail afterwards. It states she was admitted at 2:30 AM on 5/24/03. She arrived at juvenile hall at 9:00 AM on 5/24/03, where she was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and in Shock. Intake personnel told us "She entered juvenile hall in the worse shape of any kid they had ever seen. One of the counselor s later told me her mom that she thought Amber should of had a Fit And Proper hearing which she submitted in a report to her public defender. And never took place.
When she felt her public defender was not representing her well enough, due to lack of communication between her and him & he and us (violation of Rule #1.14 in the rules of professional conduct ), The Judge would not allow her to replace him (Marsdem motion) . She Did find out in that hearing when the Judge had them in chambers( The DA her attorney and Amber) that he actually he was doing a very good job). One month later the DA asked to have him off the case due to a conflict of interest that was never explained. He was taken off her case.
There was a Miranda hearing held a few months later with a conflict panel attorney( MIss Torrez) that was suppose to have her statements to police excluded during the trial and her new attorney made a motion to exclude witnesses that were subpoenaed by the public defender. The out come of the Miranda hearing was to be binding at trial. At trial, no defense witnesses were called. No Juvenile Hall Counselors, no original expert Psychology witnesses, (Which did exist) and no character witnesses.She was tried as an adult without psychological evaluation.
She was also told by the public defender to sign documents she did not understand, and we never saw.

Damage Is What It Causes

Written By Amber Rose Riley

Damage Is What It Causes,Pain,is the feelings
it indulges.
All the pressure pushes up inside of you,
eventually,you explode, but that's (what)
they wanted: For me to hate myself.
They want the pain to be to much for me:
For me to feel responsible.
I hurt past hurting,my emotions went numb,
all that's left is for my body to go numb.
No one seems to care;that this is is someone elses crime that put me here.
All my life I wanted to be noticed,
that's why I worked hard, I always did.
Trying to be loving and kind a popular kid.
Now tears are all you see, Why must I be here?
For something someone else did?
God And I know It wasn't me!

Monday, July 18, 2011

August 5Th Jordon Brown(Age 13) Gets His last Chance To Ask For Transfer To Juvenile Court

Document - USA: Further information: Transfer hearing scheduled for boy aged 13
Further Information on UA: 97/10 Index: AMR 51/062/2011 USA Date: 6 July 2011 Date: 6 July 2011

URGENT ACTION

TRANSFER HEARING SCHEDULED FOR BOY AGED 13

O n 5 August Jordan Brown will have a rare second chance to argue for his case to be transferred to juvenile court for trial. The Pennsylvania Attorney General should seize this opportunity to agree unconditionally to the transfer .


On 8 June, Jordan Brown’s lawyers met with the prosecution and the trial court judge to prepare for the hearing, ordered by the Pennsylvania Superior Court, on the issue of transferring his case to a juvenile court. It is yet to be decided whether parties will introduce new evidence or whether the hearing will be based on prior oral arguments.


According to press reports, the Senior Deputy Attorney General, Anthony Krastek, has indicated that he may consider moving the case to juvenile court on the condition that Jordan Brown admits guilt. Defense lawyers for Jordan Brown have responded in the press that the 13-year-old boy has no intention of doing so, standing by his denial of the charges for the past 25 months.


The hearing is the result of the Pennsylvania Superior Court’s decision to vacate an earlier ruling which denied Jordan Brown’s petition for transfer to juvenile court. Aged 11 at the time of the crime, he has been automatically charged for trial in an adult court, as required by Pennsylvania law for cases involving murder. He has been charged with two counts of homicide, because the victim, Kenzie Houk, was eight-and-a-half months pregnant and her unborn child also died. If tried in adult court and convicted of first-degree murder, Jordan Brown would be automatically sentenced to life imprisonment with no possibility of parole. This sentence, when imposed on anyone who was under 18 years old at the time of the crime, violates international law.


PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in English or your own language:

Explaining that you are not seeking to excuse the killing of Kenzie Houk;

Pointing out that international law prohibits life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for anyone who was under 18 years old at the time of the crime;

Calling on the prosecution to meet its international obligation to ensure that Jordan Brown is not sentenced to life imprisonment without parole;

Urging the prosecution to seize the opportunity of the hearing to agree to the transfer unconditionally and drop its pursuit of a trial in an adult court.


PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 16 AUGUST 201 1 TO:


Pennsylvania Attorney General

Linda L Kelly

Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General

16th Floor, Strawberry Square

Harrisburg, PA 17120, USA

Fax: +1 717 787 8242

Email: http://attorneygeneral.gov/contactus/ Salutation: Dear Attorney General

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AMR51/062/2011/en/ab55aa18-14f2-4eae-bfaa-5d13f7611bb1/amr510622011en.html

Friday, July 1, 2011

Rights Denied

The following will be actual events with no distortion of the facts as they are known

Our 16 year old daughter was denied many of her rights, thus leading to a murder conviction for which she will be sentenced soon .
According to due process of law. Regardless of
the charge,juveniles do have rights that differ from adults,
and MUST BE APPLIED when taken into custody,and through of the judicial process,otherwise the system will fail( which it has) and democracy will inevitably cease to exist.
When She was first picked up by police,and taken into custody, she was not allowed 2 completed phone calls within one hour.(Welfare & Institutions Code 627).Her father went to the police station and was told he could not see her
(Penal Code 120.6).
Her 14th Amendment Rights were violated because she was denied counsel (her Father) during questioning. She was not mentally evaluated, and had very little knowledge of the criminal justice system (Wel.& Institutions Code 30.23).
Mental condition is a very important issue according to Evidence Code 1016a. A 16 year old girl should not be alone with adult male police detectives for questioning because it infringes on the 5th ,6th,& 14th Amendments of the Constitution concerning due process.
Failure of telling her that her father
was there is a direct violation of Wel. & Inst. Code30.11). It is still unclear what probable cause initiated her to be taken into custody(Penal Code 995). Her deprivation of rights and privileges is a violation of U.S. Code 14141a. All of these violations occurred
during her 1st hours of custody.
(Wel.&Inst. Code 627.5)The minor AND parent to be immediately advised that any thing the minor says will be used against him or her, and to be advised of the presence of counsel during interrogation.
(Title 28 United States Code 1343 Provided A Federal court Forum In Which Citizens Can Seek Redress From The Deprivation Of Rights.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Uphold 13-year-old Jordan Brown's Constitutional Rights.

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/308203
Petition asks attorney general to uphold Jordan Brown's rights

A new petition asks Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly to uphold 13-year-old Jordan Brown's constitutional rights.
The petition, which is duplicated on two separate websites, outlines the ways in which Jordan Brown's constitutional rights have been violated since his introduction into the American justice system over two years ago. Earlier this year, the Pennsylvania Superior Court overheard arguments that Judge Motto failed to recognize Jordan's Fifth Amendment right regarding self-incrimination when he refused to waive the child's case to juvenile court on the grounds that Jordan had not confessed to the murders of Kenzie Houk and her unborn son. Jordan has maintained his innocence since his arrest in 2009 when he was 11 years old.
Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/308203#ixzz1PzF2GFf6

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I Don’t Wish Nobody to Have a Life Like Mine

I Don’t Wish Nobody to Have a Life Like Mine: Tales of Kids in Adult Lockup (Beacon Press) is a collection of sketches of some of the locked away teenagers I taught over my ten years working in an adult county prison. My writing has appeared in the New York Times, Mother Jones and Education Next as well as many literary and scholarly journals and anthologies. I am a regular contributor on education and criminal justice for Huffington Post and Daily Kos.

I have done readings and led discussions on juvenile justice and kids at risk at community gatherings, libraries and churches as well at professional conferences. I have also spoken in various college and university classes on a wide variety of topics in the field of criminal justice and education. I am available for readings and for speaking engagements on these important topics. I can be contacted at davidchura2@gmail.com.

“I Don’t Wish Nobody to Have a Life Like Mine: Kids in Adult Loockup” Receives Award and Recognition
I Don’t Wish Nobody to Have a Life Like Mine has won a 2010 PASS Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. The award is given to works that focus “America’s attention on the complex problems of the criminal and juvenile justice systems and child welfare.” The Council itself does important advocacy work and I appreciate their recognition.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

5 Year Old May Be Charged With Murder

Kansas girl, 5, may face murder charges in drowning
By Kevin Murphy Kevin Murphy – Thu Jun 9, 2:54 pm ET
KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) – A 5-year-old girl could face murder charges in the recent drowning of a toddler in a bathtub, police said on Thursday.

Kansas City police are waiting for a medical examiner's report on how Jermane Johnson Jr., died, but have investigated the death as a homicide, spokesman Darin Snapp said Thursday.

"I've been in law enforcement for 20 years and it's the youngest suspect I can remember," Snapp said. "It's extremely rare."

Johnson, 18 months old, was in a Kansas City house on June 3rd with other children, but the 16-year-old girl who was supposed to be looking after them fell asleep, Snapp said.

Investigators learned through interviews that a 5-year-old girl in the house got irritated at the boy, Snapp said.

"She said she got angry because he would not stop crying and she held him under the water until he stopped crying," Snapp said.

Snapp said a decision on to handle the case will be left up to prosecutors after the medical examiner's report is released.

(Editing by James B. Kelleher and Peter Bohan)
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110609/us_nm/us_kansas_drowning_charge

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Age 12 Charged As Adult:

Boy accused of murder held in isolation
Published: June 7, 2011 at 10:33 AM

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., June 7 (UPI) -- A Florida boy, 12, charged as an adult with
first-degree murder and held in isolation, should be moved back to a juvenile
facility, his lawyer said.

Cristian Fernandez lives in a 30-square-foot cell in the Duval County Jail in
Jacksonville, The (Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union reported Tuesday.

Fernandez was indicted by a grand jury for the March 14 beating death of his
2-year-old half-brother, David Gallariago.

He is the youngest person in the city's history to be charged with first-degree
murder, the Times-Union reported.

If found guilty, Fernandez faces a sentence of life in prison with no chance for
parole, the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange at Kennesaw State University
in Kennesaw, Ga., reported.

Fernandez is in isolation because his age and the high-profile nature of his
case forces the jail to keep him away from other juveniles, jail chief Tara
Wildes said.

Fernandez's lawyer, Assistant Public Defender Rob Mason, said he wants the boy
to be sent back to the juvenile facility where he was held for several months
since the toddler's slaying.

"He's done well there and developed a good relationship with his mental health
counselor," he said.

The prosecutor, Assistant State Attorney Mark Caliel, said juveniles must be
treated as adults when facing adult charges, adding that safety at the juvenile
facility is an issue.

"If I were the parents of a kid charged with petty theft, I would be outraged if
someone charged with first-degree murder were there right beside them," Caliel
said.

Fernandez is scheduled for arraignment Wednesday.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc

Read more:
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2011/06/07/Boy-accused-of-murder-held-in-isolatio\
n/UPI-81181307457203/#ixzz1OcTnxoBt

Friday, June 3, 2011

Entering The Court Room In Orange And Wearing Chains

As I enter the courtroom in Orange and in Chains
>> I lower my head and I begin to pray~
>> I ask God up above to soften hearts and minds,
>> especially of the Da who seems intent on stealing my young life.
>> I look up at the judge and pled with my eyes
>> please see past the wicked Da and cops filled with lies.
>> They look at my parents looking aged and depressed,
>> but they only smirk at our eyes filled with stress..
>> It's so plain to see,as clear as daylight
>> that the system is crooked and far from being right
>> For 6 years now we've tried and we've cried
>> but we haven't given up, nor will we pause our fight.~
>> I lost my first trial, Never expected to lose
>> When I wasn't set free, the hurt bypasted the blues.
>> I toss and I turn on my bunk every night
>> I cry out loud to God to save my innocent life.
>> I can't stand this any longer, and my parents need peace.
>> The lord is my judge,yet the county holds the keys/
>> I've had so many ups and downs,even given up hope.
>> I have even yelled at God at times I couldn't cope.
>> Letters we write, and make call after call,but
>> without a dimne to our name we continue to fall
>> My last lawyer gave up at the very end,
>> It almost cost my life the way he gave in.
>> but the lord heard our prayers and gave us another chance
>> we pray~ to the wrongs into right.
>> I must keep trying to beat this.
>> I cann't simply give in,So many dreams will come true
>> If this trial I can win.
>> I'll go home,get a job, go to the movies,I'll walk and I'll swim,
>> I'll fight for those people lost inside like I was
>> Forced to ride chained and cold to court on a bus.
>> The deputies here degrade us, and constantly yell
>> look at us with wrinkled faces as if we all smell,
>> hardly let us girls out we stay locked in our cells
>> We can not complain or get any help, there are bullies
>> that will retaliate against us if we tell.
>> I must make it home,and start from scratch
>> Lord please help me put this nightmare in the past


Written By Amber Riley

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

These Kids Locked Away With Adults

There will always be some juveniles who deserve to be tried and punished in the adult system, either because their crimes are particularly coldblooded or because they have been given repeated chances to reform and repeatedly failed to do so. Even some of the staunchest advocates for juveniles concede that a few of them are irredeemably dangerous. "I'm a believer that there is true evil in the world," Darrow Soll, a former public defender and prosecutor in Phoenix told me. "I'm not so foolish as to think that every child can be saved just because of their age. But an effort has to be made. There are a few who you say no juvenile system in the world is going to be able to save. But in my experience, those are definitely the exceptions

Some though just get caught up.
Police should never force questions upon a minor without a parent,
social worker, or officer from the Juvenile system.
questions acquire a particular poignancy when it comes to the investigative stage of a crime, during which young suspects are interviewed by the police. Children, especially those 12 and under, are much more likely to waive their rights. (In one study, 90 percent of juvenile suspects waived their rights to silence and to counsel, compared with 60 percent of adults.) And they are much more likely to say what they think adults want to hear, especially if they think it means they can go home soon. The 7- and 8-year-old boys accused of sexually assaulting and killing 11-year-old Ryan Harris in Chicago two years ago -- and later cleared of all charges -- were enticed to confess over a McDonald's Happy Meal. An 11-year-old boy who now says he falsely confessed to murdering his elderly neighbor wanted to get the police interview over with so he could go home to his younger brother's birthday party. "Kids confess all the time," says Mara Siegel, a deputy public defender in Phoenix. "They talk to the police all the time. It can drive you crazy."

Mark Chaffin, a pediatrician and psychologist at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, agrees that children are particularly vulnerable to offering false confessions. "Tendencies like wanting to please, wanting to say what they think the adult authority figure wants to hear or misunderstanding the situation," he says, all leave children at risk. "I think law-enforcement officials know how to interview people who are mentally retarded or psychotic," he adds. "But there's not a lot of specific training about how you interview a 10-year-old suspect."

A few states require the presence of an "interested adult" -- usually a parent -- when a child is being interrogated, but most do not. So what should be done? "My recommendation," says Thomas Grisso, a forensic psychologist at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, "is that kids 14 or under who are being questioned should have at least a parent available. Even if they don't have good relationships with their parents, the parents are still the people they look to for their buffer, their protection."

By the age of 14, several studies have shown, most children can accurately explain the purpose of trials and the role of judges and juries and can offer reasonably accurate definitions of a right. Children under 14, however, have a much weaker grasp on these concepts. Studies that have looked at juveniles' understanding of specific Miranda rights have found that adolescents 15 and older generally comprehend them about as well as adults, but that younger children frequently misconstrue them. According to Grisso, many children understood "the right to remain silent" to mean "they should remain silent until they were told to talk."
he body of research on juveniles in adult prison is not especially large. Until recently, there weren't enough Jessica Robinsons to warrant systematic information-gathering. It isn't even all that easy to locate young inmates, in part because states have adopted different policies about how and where to house them. "The majority of states follow a practice of dispersing young inmates in the general prison population," says Dale Parent, a project director with the research firm Abt Associates in Cambridge, Mass., which is conducting a long-term study on juveniles in state prison systems. "They might not put a small, vulnerable adolescent in a cell with a sex offender, but other than that, they do not segregate the youth, and they have no separate programs for them. A few states have extreme segregation -- physically separate housing units where youthful offenders have no contact with the adult population -- or arrangements with the state juvenile facility where they spend a few years there and are transferred to prison on their 18th birthdays."

There are plenty of reasons to keep juvenile offenders away from the adult prison population. In general, young prisoners are more vulnerable than adults to sexual exploitation and physical brutalization. They are more likely than older inmates to commit suicide. They are more likely than young people in juvenile detention facilities to be physically assaulted and to return to a life of crime when they are set free.

None of this should come as any surprise. Prison populations are not only older, larger and more criminally experienced than juvenile detention populations, they are also more violent. (Nearly 50 percent of prison inmates are violent offenders, while only 20 percent of juvenile training school residents are.) Prisoners tend to be much more idle than juveniles in detention. Only one-third of state prison inmates work more than 34 hours a week, and only half take classes. In juvenile facilities, on the other hand, kids spend most of the day in school, vocational-training, group counseling, substance abuse programs and the like and are encouraged to form bonds with their counselors and teachers. When Donna Bishop, a professor of criminology

at Northeastern University, interviewed minors in juvenile and adult facilities in Florida, she concluded that youths in prison "spent much of their time talking to more skilled

and experienced offenders who taught them new techniques of committing crime and methods of avoiding detection."

An earlier study that Bishop and Charles Frazier conducted in Florida points to the effects of such environments on recidivism. Thousands of young offenders are sent to criminal court in Florida each year. But because so many of those transfers come about at the discretion of prosecutors, thousands of other juveniles, charged with equally serious crimes, are not. Bishop and Frazier were thus able to match by age, race, gender, current charges and past criminal record 2,738 juveniles who had been prosecuted as adults with 2,738 who had stayed in the juvenile system. Over a period of up to two years, they found that 30 percent of the teenagers prosecuted in criminal court were rearrested; the figure for those who had gone through the juvenile system was 19 percent. Transfers also proved more likely to be arrested for more serious offenses.

For all these reasons, many prison and jail officials would rather they never had to deal with youthful inmates at all. "We don't want juveniles locked up with adults," says Ken Kerle, the managing editor of American Jails magazine, the official publication of the American Jails Association. "I don't think we're doing the country any good by going back to Square 1 and chucking the whole idea of a separate system for juveniles. You can't handle kids like you handle adults. They're mercurial; they've got a lot of emotional growing-up to do. They need education, they need exercise and they need guards who have some insight into them. Put 'em in adult facilities, and they come out worse than when they went in





hen Jessica Robinson was 13, she took part in a crime that Judge Barbara Levenson called "horrible, vile" and one of the most "deeply saddening" cases she had ever heard in her courtroom. On July 12, 1997, animated by a vague plan to go to Disney World with their spoils, Jessica and two older teenagers robbed her grandparents in their Miami home. It was Jessica who knocked on the door, calling, "Grandma, I need to talk to you." Once inside, she and another girl ransacked the house, snatching up jewelry, cash, liquor and clothes, while the 16-year-old boy with them slashed the furniture and the hand of Jessica's grandfather. At one point, the boy led Jessica's grandparents onto a glassed-in porch, where he threatened to kill them. Neither of the victims was seriously harmed, but as her grandmother testified at Jessica's sentencing: "Me and her grandpa is not young anymore. Our lives have been destroyed. We are terrified to go to our door." And she added plaintively, "I would like to ask her: 'Why? Why, honey?"'


Any child 14 or younger is too unformed, too vulnerable, too easily swayed, too limited in his understanding of the criminal process to be subjected to it in full force.




Though Jessica had not actually wielded the knife or herded the victims onto the porch, she was charged with assault and armed kidnapping as well as armed robbery and sentenced to nine years in an adult prison. Asked to apologize to her grandparents during the trial, she at first refused, then managed only an impassive "I'm sorry" at the sentencing. "Animals," Judge Levenson told her, "don't treat their families the way you treated your family."

Jessica's family had never been much of a haven. Her mother left her dad, whom she described to Jessica's lawyers as abusive, in 1986, when the girls were 3 and 6. "I was scared," she told Claudia Kemp, a student at the Florida State University College of Law who is working on an appeal for Jessica, "scared that either he would eventually kill me or I would have to kill him in order to protect myself and the children." The family moved from Austin, Tex., to Miami, and Jessica has not seen her father since.

In Miami, Jessica's mother found a one-bedroom apartment in a housing project for her and the girls and worked as a waitress on the night shift at Denny's. She told Kemp that she often felt exhausted and frustrated, and that when she did, she would hit Jessica with a belt or her hand. Still, until Jessica entered the seventh grade, she seems to have caused little trouble at school or at home. A family friend thought of her as "a very normal, sweet kid" who loved to swim, sing and ride her bike. At 13, though, Jessica started getting into fights at home -- on one occasion, throwing a plate at her 16-year-old sister; on another, biting her mother's hand. According to juvenile records, she repeatedly ran away for weeks at a time, occasionally staying at the apartment of a drug dealer in his 20's named Shorty.




Four teenagers doing time with grown-up: James Corporal, 17. Sentenced to six years in 1997 for sexual battery on a child.

Norbert Clemente, 17. Sentenced to four years in 1997 for attempted carjacking.

Tobias Thomas, 15. Sentenced to six years in 1998 for home invasion, assault and battery of a person over 65.


Brandon Hartsoe, 16. Sentenced to seven years in 1998 for attempted murder using his mother's gun.

Photographs by Jean Hart Howard

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


A psychologist who evaluated her after one of these incidents described her as a girl of average intelligence, "cooperative with the examiner," but suffering from a "severe conduct disorder." A psychiatrist thought Jessica was "extremely childish and coquettish." Both evaluators recommended that Jessica be placed in a secure residential treatment center where she could receive therapy and a more definitive diagnosis. Instead, she was released into her grandparents' care; and when she quarreled with them, too, her grandmother called the police and Jessica was arrested again. Jessica told Kemp that her motivation for helping to rob her grandparents stemmed from this fight, that she was driven by "nothing but revenge."

On July 30, 1998, Jessica arrived at Jefferson Correctional Institution, a women's prison with conspicuous gun towers and a tough reputation, located 30 miles east of Tallahassee. At 14, she was then the youngest female in the Florida correctional system and the object of considerable curiosity. In the dining hall or the exercise yard, other prisoners strained for a good look at her, this lethargic girl with big green eyes, dirty blond hair hanging straight down her back and a prison-issue uniform that billowed over her slight frame. Within her first few weeks at Jefferson, Jessica tried to commit suicide. For a long time, her lawyers say, she seemed genuinely confused about the parameters of prison life. She kept asking them if she could just go out for a couple of hours with them -- to the beach or to Taco Bell, maybe -- and come back that night.

In prison, Jessica has found surrogate mothers to replace the real one who has yet to visit her incarcerated daughter. Jessica's first mother was a stocky, gray-haired woman named Susanne Manning, who was serving a 25-year term for embezzlement. Manning had a 13-year-old son of her own on the outside, and she pushed Jessica to do her homework, bought her snacks, read her "The Little Mermaid" and kept her out of fights when she could. "An embezzler is about the most trustworthy type you can find in prison," says Paolo Annino, a lawyer with the Children's Advocacy Center at the Florida State University College of Law who is representing Jessica in her appeal. "It's a lot better than having some slasher take you under her wing."

In October of last year, however, Jessica was transferred to Dade County Correctional Institution, near Miami. Her "family"at Dade is larger and more elaborate than it was in Tallahassee -- it includes women whom Jessica calls her grandparents, great-grandparents, uncles, cousins, sisters, brothers. It is also considerably rougher, and for this reason, it is easy to see how a girl could settle into a life not just of crime but of truly depraved crime. The woman Jessica now refers to as Mommy, a beautiful, blue-eyed, heavily tattooed 29-year-old with the nickname Blackie, is serving a life sentence for murder. She and a male accomplice robbed two elderly people and cut their throats with a machete. The other Dade prisoner who wanted to be Jessica's mommy -- they staged a sort of custody battle -- stole an elderly man's checks with an accomplice, who then beat the man to death.

At Dade, Jessica isn't going to class anymore to get her G.E.D. "In a juvenile facility, you're required to attend school; in an adult prison, you're not," Kemp says. "Jessica's a teenager, and she finds a lot of reasons not to." She goes to her prison family for advice now. They don't think much of school, but in their way, they spoil her. On her 16th birthday, they made Jessica a cake out of Pop-Tarts and melted chocolate bars from the canteen; they buy her cigarettes; they think her street-girl swagger is cute. "She gets a lot of attention," says Kemp. "It's a mixed-up world in there, and there's a value to being associated with her."

Annino and Kemp are trying to get Jessica transferred to a juvenile facility where she can receive psychological counseling and an education. When Annino first met Jessica, he concluded his interview by asking, as he asks all his clients, what she wanted from her association with him. Jessica "looked up sort of sleepily and said, 'Milk,"' Annino recalls. "She wanted more milk than she was getting in the prison diet, which is based on the nutritional needs of an adult. I have an 8-year-old at home, and that really struck me." As for Kemp, she is 47, with three daughters of her own, and says she couldn't help feeling protective of her client. "When you first meet her, she seems very defiant. She's got this heavy street accent. But when you spend time with her, you see she's still such a child. She whines; she fidgets. She wants your attention; she wants to be taken care of; she wants you to tell her to take her medication." Miami is a long way from Tallahassee, though,
and her lawyers hardly ever see Jessica in person anymore.

If their appeal fails, Jessica will get out of prison when she is 22. She will have no education beyond the sixth grade, no job skills,
no friends her age and no experience of ordinary, unincarcerated life after the age of 13. What she will have is a felony record -- unlike the juvenile courts, adult courts do not preserve anonymity -- and a collection of "mothers" and mentors, among whom a convicted embezzler is by far the most wholesome. She will have been raised by wolves, and then she will be released,
like most juveniles convicted in adult court, when she is still young enough to commit many more crimes.
---------------------


The body of research on juveniles in adult prison is not especially large. Until recently, there weren't enough Jessica Robinsons to warrant systematic information-gathering. It isn't even all that easy to locate young inmates, in part because states have adopted different policies about how and where to house them. "The majority of states follow a practice of dispersing young inmates in the general prison population," says Dale Parent, a project director with the research firm Abt Associates in Cambridge, Mass., which is conducting a long-term study on juveniles in state prison systems. "They might not put a small, vulnerable adolescent in a cell with a sex offender, but other than that, they do not segregate the youth, and they have no separate programs for them. A few states have extreme segregation -- physically separate housing units where youthful offenders have no contact with the adult population -- or arrangements with the state juvenile facility where they spend a few years there and are transferred to prison on their 18th birthdays."

There are plenty of reasons to keep juvenile offenders away from the adult prison population. In general, young prisoners are more vulnerable than adults to sexual exploitation and physical brutalization. They are more likely than older inmates to commit suicide. They are more likely than young people in juvenile detention facilities to be physically assaulted and to return to a life of crime when they are set free.

None of this should come as any surprise. Prison populations are not only older, larger and more criminally experienced than juvenile detention populations, they are also more violent. (Nearly 50 percent of prison inmates are violent offenders, while only 20 percent of juvenile training school residents are.) Prisoners tend to be much more idle than juveniles in detention. Only one-third of state prison inmates work more than 34 hours a week, and only half take classes. In juvenile facilities, on the other hand, kids spend most of the day in school, vocational-training, group counseling, substance abuse programs and the like and are encouraged to form bonds with their counselors and teachers. When Donna Bishop, a professor of criminology

at Northeastern University, interviewed minors in juvenile and adult facilities in Florida, she concluded that youths in prison "spent much of their time talking to more skilled

and experienced offenders who taught them new techniques of committing crime and
methods of avoiding detection."


(Read Four teenagers doing time with grown-up:) Brandon Hartsoe, 16. Sentenced to seven years in 1998 for attempted murder using his mother's gun.
Tobias Thomas, 15. Sentenced to six years in 1998 for home invasion, assault and battery of a person over 65.

James Corporal, 17. Sentenced to six years in 1997 for sexual battery on a child.

Norbert Clemente, 17. Sentenced to four years in 1997 for attempted carjacking

http://www.nytimes.com/library/magazine/home/20000910mag-juvenile.html

sentence of 84 years to life for a juvenile is cruel and unusual

People v. Caballero , District: 2 DCA , Division: 4 , Case #: B217709
Opinion Date: 1/18/2011 , DAR #: 837
Case Holding:
A sentence of 110 years to life imposed on a juvenile does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. Appellant argued his sentence of 110 years to life for premeditated attempted murder with several enhancements was cruel and unusual punishment under Graham v. Florida (2010) __ U.S. __ [130 S.Ct. 2011] because it denies him any meaningful chance of release. The court declined to apply the principles in Graham because that case expressly limited its holding to juveniles sentenced to life without parole. "If the court had intended to broaden the class of offenders within the scope of its decision, it would have stated that the case concerns any juvenile offender who receives the functional equivalent of a life sentence without the possibility of parole for a non-homicide offense." (Disagreeing with People v. Mendez (2010) 188 Cal.App.4th 47 [sentence of 84 years to life for a juvenile is cruel and unusual].)
+++++++++++++++++++++

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Isaac Grimes Age 15 Sentenced To 60 Years

By JIM AVILA (@JeffreyKofman) and THOMAS BERMAN
Aug. 18, 2009
How far could an innocent high school student go to try to fit in? In a bizarre case in Colorado, the answer appears to be all the way to murder.

Isaac Grimes is serving a 60-year sentence for killing his onetime best friend Tony Dutcher when he was only 15. Grimes pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, but the most shocking part was his explanation of why he did it. According to him, it amounted to a twisted version of the children's game Simon Says.

It all began in the fall of 1999, when Grimes entered his freshman year at Palmer High School in Colorado Springs, Colo. He was a lonely boy, who admits he was not popular.

"I wasn't a people person," he said.

His parents, Rob and Donna Grimes agree.

"It was like he was set apart, and he didn't relate as much to kids his own age. He read. Read lots and lots," said Donna.

But early in that fateful year, he crossed paths with a charismatic high school senior named Simon Sue. The unlikely pair shared an interest in chess and video games, and with that, the upperclassman took the younger, nerdy boy under his wing.

Grimes said Sue even offered him a chance to join his club called the O.A.R.A., or the Operations and Reconnaissance Agents. It would be the turning point of Isaac's life. For a young boy, desperate to have connections with others, hanging out with Sue and being invited to join the O.A.R.A was everything he desired -- at first.


Courtesy Jennifer Vandresar
Isaac Grimes, left, and Tony Dutcher, right,... View Full Caption
Isaac Grimes, left, and Tony Dutcher, right, were former best friends who began to drift apart in high school. On a sleepover trip at Dutcher's grandparents' remote mountain home, Grimes slit Dutcher's throat while he lay in his sleeping bag. Grimes claimed that he was forced to commit murder by Simon Sue, a senior at his high school. Close"It was a lot of compliments -- a lot of self-esteem building material. Like you're one of us -- you're cool. You're part of the group," he told "Primetime".

Grimes said he finally felt like he was part of a "band of brothers." Sue reassured him that the group of boys, which included fellow high schoolers Jon Matheny and Glen Urban, would look out for one another.

As much as they wanted their son to have friends, Grimes' parents were skeptical of the relationship.

"One time I had said, 'you know, Simon's a senior -- why is he hanging out with you?' And he said because 'I'm smart,'" recalled Donna, who is convinced Sue preyed upon her son's vulnerability. "It's a shark in the water thing, they smell blood, and I think Simon smelled blood."

She couldn't have imagined that her worst fears — and then some — would soon be realized.

Sophomore Kills Best Friend, Blames Crime on Cult

Teen Says He Was Forced to Murder
Cathleen Mann is a national expert on cults. She readily applies this label to Sue's O.A.R.A. She has interviewed Grimes many times and helped his legal team as they strategized his defense.

"[Grimes] didn't know he was getting involved in a cult, of course," explained Mann. "This is the way that all these groups work, is they get you emotionally invested and then they start to disclose their inner purposes. And by the time you figure out what's going on, you're involved."

Grimes and his so-called band of brothers would quickly move on from fun, harmless activities, like chess to much more dangerous ones. Grimes claims that Sue took the boys to a local range to practice shooting weapons, and he taught them how to disassemble and clean the firearms.

The group was organized in a paramilitary structure with Simon in command. "I started out as a lieutenant, and then became a major, and then a lieutenant colonel," Grimes said.

Grimes also says he was forced to eat and drink until he vomited and that he had to repeatedly watch "Faces of Death," a notorious cult film featuring gruesome footage of animals and humans being killed.

This was all part of Sue's master plan, says Grimes.
(http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/story?id=8347009)
++++++++++++++++++
First Of The Story, I'm Sorry The Web Site For Below No Longer exsists since He Was sentenced*

Isaac Grimes Organization
PO Box 7055
Colorado Springs, CO 80933



www.isaacgrimes.org


( This Was Before Isaac Was Convicted)

Here's a short message from Isaac's mother, Donna Grimes:

Isaac was subject to trauma and torture and cult tactics. He believed his own family would be slaughtered if he did not follow the demands of his leader. He was so traumatized and disassociated that he confessed to the murder, but seems to think he did it a certain way that does not agree with the physical evidence. Isaac confessed to the police and later helped the prosecution to find all the evidence with which to convict himself and others involved. He has consistently cooperated with investigators and told the truth. He was given a "deal" of 60 years.
Isaac Grimes, will be 19 yrs old on May 30th. He has spent the last 3 yrs and 2 months in Colorado adult prisons. Isaac confessed to the horrid murder of his friend and conspiracy to murder his friend's grandparents. It was a crime beyond belief. It was a crime that Isaac, of own volition could never have committed. The forensic psychologist testified that Isaac had severe PTSD, believed he needed to be punished, was extremely remorseful and in his 15yr old mind had no other option other than to commit murder. The Psychologist testified that Isaac has no sociopath tendencies and had been physically and mentally tortured. Judge Kenneth Plotz said "I don't buy this story "and sentenced Isaac to 60 years. Isaac is a boy who has total redemptive potential. Isaac is currently in Colorado's "prison for the seriously mentally ill" on 23hr lockdown due to his youth. He receives drugs for depression, but no mental health care. 5 months ago he was seen by another psychologist who specializes in cult abuse. This Dr. reports that he has an acute case of PTSD which will turn into psychosis if not treated. Isaac has been accepted to Wellspring which is a cult treatment facility. He is not a danger to society, but will cost society $54,000 a year to keep in confinement. Even the victim's parents have stated that they believe Isaac's sentence to be severe and that there is a difference between Isaac and the other defendants and that "they got into Isaac's head". Isaac has a very strong support system including a church that is raising the $5000 treatment fee for Isaac's first two weeks at Wellspring. Isaac is doing everything he can to keep himself together - taking college courses via mail (no, DOC is not paying for this), corresponding with multiple people. The chaplain at San Carlos has a weekly Bible Study with him. Isaac will have reconsideration of his sentence and we are doing everything we can to see he gets treatment at Wellspring and hopefully can come home. In the day of terror phobia, it is ironic that Judge Plotz would not believe it would happen here. Please check Isaac's site at www.isaacgrimes.org we have been blessed with friends who are helping us get the word out. Please join us.

Thanks, Rob and Donna Grimes