Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Child LWOP update

A while back Nancy Ward wrote of her efforts to persuade California legislators to forbid sentencing of child offenders to life without parole. In California 227 youths are serving such sentences, 10% of the national juvenile LWOP population. Human rights law is contra: the sentences are flatly prohibited by Article 37(a) of the Covenant on the Rights of the Child, to which virtually all countries belong except the United States, and are incompatible with the juvenile corrections provisions of Articles 10 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the United States does belong.
Yesterday the legislation, SB 999, was read on the floor of the Senate, where a 2/3 majority is needed. Organizers are urging all to lobby for an "aye" vote; details here.

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