Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Possibility of Reform

Would Ashley Jones have received a life sentence if she were white?

The United States wants to reserve the right to lock children up. Forever.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — In December, the United Nations took up a resolution calling for the abolition of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for children and young teenagers. The vote was 185 to 1, with the United States the lone dissenter.

Indeed, the United States stands alone in the world in convicting young adolescents as adults and sentencing them to live out their lives in prison. According to a new report, there are 73 Americans serving such sentences for crimes they committed at 13 or 14.
Which is odd for a nation of people who purport to believe in redemption. But the people who are the loudest in calling for retribution and punishment, the people who are least willing to show mercy, the people who decry compassion as weakness, these are the people who say they believe in the Bible, in Jesus, in the New Testament. And the sole theme of the New Testament is redemption and salvation. That's it.

1 comment:

Raven said...

The United States and Somalia are the only two United Nations countries that have not ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In the case of the U.S., this is partly because the CRC conflicts with state laws, as it prohibits sentencing minors to life in prison without the possibility of parole and also prohibits the execution of minors. Our wonderful "president" himself has said "But we believe the text goes too far when it asserts entitlements based on economic, social and cultural rights. ... The human rights-based approach ... poses significant problems as used in this text." More here.