Marshall Project Originals
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 Watched a Man Die in Prison. His Last Words Haunt Me.
“There is hardly a day that passes when I do not see his face.”
The Right Age to Die?
For some, science is outpacing the High Court on juveniles and the death penalty.
Life After Life Without Parole
Ronald Elston spent more than 30 years in prison, with no preparation for what he would do if he got out.
Is It Murder if There’s No Homicide?
The strange case of a convicted killer whose “victim” probably died of her own drug overdose.
Death by Another Name
California Prop 62 would repeal the death penalty. A lifer says it doesn’t go far enough.
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?
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.
‘Children Do Not Have the Same Capacity as Adults to Control Their Reactions.’
A selection of recent letters from our readers.
Raised, and Imprisoned, by the State
A prisoner and former foster child on the kids he knew — and the inmates they became.
Too Old to Commit Crime?
Why people age out of crime, and what it could mean for how long we put them away.