Marshall Project Originals
I Was Sentenced to Life as a Juvenile. Now I Help Kids Build Brighter Futures.
Imprisoned for 25 years, Fred Weatherspoon was shocked to return to a Chicago he didn’t recognize. He found belonging in an unexpected way — working with vulnerable young people and their families.
Life Without Parole Is Replacing the Death Penalty — But the Legal Defense System Hasn’t Kept Up
Just ask a Dallas woman who spent a year in jail without talking to a lawyer.
Supreme Court Conservatives Just Made It Easier to Sentence Kids to Life in Prison
The new ruling could worsen existing racial disparities in states that condemn teens to die in prison.
How Losing RBG Could Shape Criminal Justice For Years to Come
Juvenile lifers, victims of police misconduct and immigrants convicted of minor crimes are among those with a lot at stake before the changing court.
How COVID-19 Tested the Family Bonds I Was Building When I Got Out
After serving more than 21 years for a crime he committed at age 15, Angel Alejandro was reintroducing himself to his family. Then the virus took three relatives.
“Juvenile Lifers” Were Meant to Get a Second Chance. COVID-19 Could Get Them First.
The Supreme Court gave teens sentenced to life in prison a shot at freedom. Many are still waiting.
A Juvenile Lifer Finds Peace in the Prison Garden
Bobby Bostic was sentenced to 241 years at age 16. Gardening, he writes, keeps him growing.
What’s the Meaning of “Life” When Sentencing Kids?
The Supreme Court ended automatic life without parole for children. What replaces it remains unclear.
I Got A Life Sentence At 17. Then I Was Raped In Prison.
Even though my son was conceived in the most traumatic possible way, his birth was my saving grace.
The Right Age to Die?
For some, science is outpacing the High Court on juveniles and the death penalty.
For Henry Montgomery, a Catch-22
His “meaningful opportunity for release” came with impossible conditions.
Was Evan Miller ‘The Rare Juvenile’ Who Deserved Life Without Parole?
Now 28, he’ll be re-sentenced, unless the court finds him ‘irreparably corrupt.’
When Parole Boards Trump the Supreme Court
The high court has said most kids shouldn't be sentenced to life without parole, but some prisoners' fate are in the hands of politics.
The Supreme Court May Have Just Granted Thousands of Prisoners a Chance of Freedom
The Montgomery ruling says juveniles sentenced to life without parole must get a shot at a new sentence or parole.
This Boy’s Life
At 16, Taurus Buchanan threw one deadly punch—and was sent away for life. Will the Supreme Court give him, and hundreds like him, a chance at freedom?
How We Counted the Juveniles Sent to Prison for Life
A law practice finds thousands whose sentences could be affected by Miller v. Alabama
Why it’s Hard to be a Lifer Who’s Getting Out of Prison
After 34 years inside, sometimes you never feel free.
Life Without Parole: For Juveniles, 5 Tough Counties
New study places a quarter of the sentences in a handful of urban areas.