A blog about the Texas juvenile and criminal justice systems
While the Supreme Court’s ruling that their sentences were unconstitutional didn’t seek to justify what they did, it did seek to recognize that sometimes kid criminals are victims, too — of their environment, of peer pressure — in ways that adults are not. And so before deciding that a teenage offender is an incorrigible person who will never change, the court must first carefully consider a host of mitigating factors, as in whether they were abused or mentally retarded, that may have led them to spiral into crime in the first place.
“What [the ruling] really means at the end of the day is that we know that kids are more capable of rehabilitation, and they should have a second chance,” says Elizabeth Henneke, the juvenile justice policy attorney with the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition.
All the news that's fit to print on youth and emerging adults in the justice system.