Please sign this important new online petition aimed at ending mandatory life without parole (LWOP) sentences for all Michigan prisoners who were juveniles at the time their crimes were committed. This is a requirement made by a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision.

House Bills 4806-4809 extend this protection retroactively to prisoners whose court appeals were already exhausted at the time of the high court's decision providing equal and fair treatment to all affected.

Signing the petition sends electronic messages to your state representative, state senator, and the Governor, expressing support for passage of the bills. The petition will identity your respective legislators based on your zip code.

Please share the petition link with others widely via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms, and invite others to do the same.

Included in the messages sent to state legislators will be a request for an amendment to the bills which allows judges to impose sentences that are a term of years rather than only LWOP and parolable life sentences.

To deny this discretion to judges is to handcuff them by preventing them from utilizing their professional discretion to impose individualized sentences. It also ignores the inherent dignity in young people and abandons the concept of redemption.

We need to generate as much support possible for passage of these bills. This is a powerful form of activism that can empower citizens to reject the continued human rights abuses committed by the criminal justice system against youthful offenders.

Please urge people to continue signing the petition until the bills are voted on which will likely be in the Fall and keep gathering petition signatures until the moment that the bills are voted on and passed. We want legislators to know it is unconscionable to condemn juveniles to sentences of death-by-incarceration.

The petition link is: www.TINYURL.com/endJLWOP2013

Juvenile Life Without Parole Information

ACLU of Michigan "Basic Decency: Protecting the human rights of children"

Miller v. Alabama, 132 s.ct 2255 (2012) - U.S. Supreme Court case that ruled mandatory life without parole sentences for youth is unconstitutional

ACLU of Michigan "Second Chances" Juvenile Lifers in Michigan Report

"Sentencing Our Children to Die" by Connie de la Vega and Michelle Leighton

Wayne State University Juvenile Life Without Parole Poll Information

Human Rights/Amnesty International "The Rest of Their Lives" National Juvenile Life Without Parole Report

Juvenile Life Without Parole and Adolescent Development Research and Related Information 

"So Young and So Untender": Remorseless Children and the Expectations of the Law" by Martha Grace Duncan

"Owning to the Extreme Youth of the Accused: The Changing Legal Response to Juvenile Homicide" by David S. Tanenhaus & Steven A. Drizin

"The Changing Face of Juvenile Justice" by Thomas Grisso

"Critical Choices, New Options in Juvenile Crime Policy" by The Sentencing Project

International Treaties Regarding Juveniles

Convention On the Rights of the Child

Vienna Convention On the Law of Treaties 

United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice

United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of Their Liberty

United Nations Guidelines 

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