A Life Sentence: Victims, Offenders, Justice And My Mother

There are more than 2,000 people in prisons around the country who were convicted of murder as juveniles and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. But recent Supreme Court decisions have found these sentences unconstitutional and set in motion a process for re-evaluating these “juvenile lifers.” 

To close out the first season of The FRONTLINE Dispatch, we have three stories about juvenile lifers. This first is the story of a violent crime committed by a juvenile lifer whose second chance went horribly wrong. It is an intensely personal documentary, but it carries far-reaching implications that extend into public life and into the heart of our political and correctional systems.

This piece was produced by Samantha Broun and Jay Allison. It was originally made in 2016 for the public radio website Transom.org. Listen to it here: https://transom.org/2016/a-life-sentence-victims-offenders-justice-and-my-mother/. We are presenting an update to a version that aired later that year on This American Life: https://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/604/20-years-later

Next on The FRONTLINE Dispatch: the mini-series continues with two more stories about juvenile life without parole from producers Samantha Broun and Jay Allison.

Popout Listen on iPhoneListen on Android