LOST FOR LIFE, a powerful documentary about juveniles who committed heinous crimes and are serving life sentences, asks the question Could You Forgive? LOST FOR LIFE has Colorado connections with two prisoners, Josiah Ivy and Jacob Ind, a victim, family members, and Sean Taylor, who received a life sentence as a juvenile and had his sentence commuted by Governor Bill Ritter.
Colorado has effectively abolished the Death Penalty. The Aurora Theater massacre and the execution of 5 people in a bar an Denver did not move the juries to give the Death Penalty after finding very bad extenuating circumstances. The Chuckie Cheese mass shooter has had his sentence stayed, perhaps forever. So the worst that a planned mass murder by an Adult or a execution of many people by an Adult can get is Life without Parole. The worst of the worst Adults. Why then would we give the same sentence or anything like it to a juvenile who had killed one person? Or to a juvenile who was abused and killed those that abused them? Or to a drive-by shooter who could not know the target? Or to a juvenile accomplice, a juvenile complicitor, a juvenile felony murderer in the car, or any kind of kid who didn't pull the trigger?The SCOTUS ruled correctly and intelligently. Kids, in Colorado, no matter how heinous the crime deserve at least one step less than that given to adults, not Life without Parole. And most of them deserve a chance to prove that now that they are adults they have understood the wrong they imposed on another human, their family and the community from killing that person. They deserve the opportunity after many years of living a very good life inside of the walls of a very bad place, a prison, to show that they can function in society.They deserve an individual hearing on what they have accomplished since they were convicted. They are not adults and have to be treated differently. This was the main theme of the Miller decision and by its being applied to all juveniles no matter the state of their case. Treat them differently than Adults, and treat them differently than one another. Let their environment prior to the crime, their actions at the crime and their lives since being imprisoned be the guide posts of determining their futures.
Senate bill 180:Applies to all juveniles who have served twenty years or more in Department of Corrections. This includes virtual lifers and JLWOPS.After 20 years, juvenile can apply to DOC for a move to a stepdown program which will be held in a minimum-R. Head of DOC or his designee will determine who will be accepted for the program. Conduct inside DOC is a big factor. Once accepted the prisoner will complete a re-entry program and after serving 25 years can apply for early parole.Senate bill 181: Sentencing Reform bill deals only with juveniles serving life without parole and brings Colorado into compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court.Court will have two choices in re-sentencing. After a re-sentencing hearing in which mitigating factors such as age at time of crime, circumstances surrounding crime, etc. will be considered. 1) 40 years minus earned time. Lifetime parole. (Hopefully reserved for the worst of the worst.)2) 24 to 48 with a judge deciding upon the number of years. Judge could sentence prisoner to any range within the 24 to 48 years, depending on factors outlined in bill. Earned time would be applied meaning the prisoner would have to serve 75% of sentence minus earned time, which will depend upon prisoner’s behavior inside prison. 10 years on parole. HEARING: APRIL 20, 2016 DENVER STATE CAPITOL, 1:30 P.M.