Kids Do Criminal Things, But Prison for Life?

By David Schoetz

May 28, 2010 6:34pm

Kenneth Young grew up in the rough-and-tumble drug underworld of Tampa, Florida. As a 14-year-old, he was arrested and hauled off to jail after he got caught up in a string of motel robberies that his mother’s drug dealer forced him to commit. He carried no weapon. Hurt no one. Had no priors. But Young was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole by a Florida judge who, it turns out, did not understand the sentence he was handing down.  Ten years later, Young has been granted a chance at a new life — thanks to the Supreme Court. On May 18, the justices ruled that juveniles who have not committed homicidal crimes may not be sentenced to life without parole. Tonight, Terry Moran has his story, which we'll embed in the morning. And we want to hear from you: Should teen criminals ever be sentenced to life without parole? Or, as the court ruled, only when the crime involves a homicide? What about rape? For now, here's a recent report about Jordan Brown, a 12-year-old accused of killing his future stepmother, and potentially facing a life without parole sentence.

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