Child life without parole: The U.S., Somalia, and South Sudan

Last week Cook County Judge Angela Petrone resentenced Adolfo Davis to natural life in prison without the possibility of parole for his actions as a 14-year-old accomplice to a gang-related double murder in 1990. This sort of sentence could only happen in three countries in the world:

Juvenile life without parole is banned in the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has been ratified by every country in the world except three: Somalia, South Sudan and the United States. In Somalia and South Sudan, there are no known cases of people serving a life without parole sentence for a crime committed as a minor. In the U.S., there were around 2,500 as of 2008, according to a Human Rights Watch tally.

Oh what wonderful company we keep when we practice purely punitive, rather than rehabilitative, justice. 

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