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.
UPDATES:January 25, 2016: Today the U.S. Supreme Court held that Miller v. Alabama, which banned mandatory life- without-parole sentences for children, must be applied retroactively! In the 6-3 decision, Justice Kennedy wrote that all children sentenced to life without parole are entitled to review except in the rare cases where a child's crimes "reflect permanent incorrigibility." As a result of today's ruling in Montgomery v. Louisiana, thousands of people sentenced as children before the Miller ruling on June 25, 2012 will now be eligible for review and a second chance at freedom. Colorado’s courts ruled Miller was not retroactive and that our young juveniles should die in prison. Wrong! Neither our courts nor our legislature can continue to ignore our Forgotten 48’s unconstitutional sentences. For three years our young men and women have been sitting in their cells waiting patiently for SOMEONE to act. The U.S. Supreme Court said juveniles must be eligible for parole. No equivocation. We are asking that our legislators pass a very simple bill: All CO juveniles serving life without parole are eligible for parole. Period. The U.S. Supreme Court has made a final determination. Now governor, legislators, courts…do your duty!!
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.