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Date: November 15, 2019

At the American Society of Criminology Conference in San Francisco, Marc Mauer and Ashley Nellis of the Sentencing Project hosted a panel on the need to reform life sentences.

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Date: November 7, 2019

Arnie King has been serving a sentence of life without parole in Massachusetts since 1972 for the murder of John Labanara. King was a high school dropout addicted to drugs and alcohol. He was seeking his next high the night he killed Labanara. Over the last 47 years, King hasMORE »

Date: October 28, 2019

Congress should finally take action and lift a ban that prevents people in prison from accessing Pell Grants to advance their own education. The current version of the College Affordability Act includes a provision to lift this ban for all people in prison, including those serving life sentences.

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Date: October 18, 2019

The Supreme Court looks at the case of the D.C. Sniper, and raises the question of sentencing reform in juvenile justice.

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Date: September 26, 2019

A former federal judge from central Illinois, Michael P. McCuskey, says the extreme sentences he handed down “were just crushing lives.” He sentenced Edward Douglas to life without the possibility of parole for selling 140 grams of crack cocaine in 2003.

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Date: September 24, 2019

The Sentencing Project’s Executive Director Marc Mauer and Senior Research Analyst Ashley Nellis joined a conversation, moderated by Nicole Porter, Director of Advocacy at The Sentencing Project, about ending life imprisonment, including a discussion of their recent book, The Meaning of Life: A Case for Abolishing Life Sentences. 

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Date: September 11, 2019

Should individuals who committed violent crimes before they were 25 years old be eligible for early release after serving 15 years of their sentence?

That’s the question raised by a bill introduced into the D.C. Council earlier this year — and one that the the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C., ANCs and activist groups are now weighing in on.

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Date: August 13, 2019

District of Columbia law currently allows people who received sentences longer than 15 years before turning 18 to have their sentence reviewed after a portion of their term has been served. A bill before the District Council would extend those sentence reviews to people convicted for an offense before turning 25, allowing a second lookMORE »

Date: August 5, 2019

Some years ago, I visited El Manzano, a large prison in Concepción, Chile, and spent time talking with the warden, staff, and inmates. I asked the warden how much time murderers served in his prison. Chuckling, he assured me that he was tough on them, and proudly proclaimed that murderers often serve twenty-five to thirtyMORE »

Date: July 12, 2019

The number of women serving life sentences is rising more quickly than it is for men, according to our recent publication, Women and Girls Serving Life Sentences. Nationwide one of every 15 women in prison — nearly 7,000 women — is serving a life or virtual life sentence. The circumstances that leadMORE »

Date: July 3, 2019

The Sentencing Project’s Marc Mauer joined Talk Nation Radio with David Swanson to discuss the increase and impact of life sentences in the United States.

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Date: May 24, 2019

Two hundred thousand incarcerated people in the United States—one of every seven citizens—are serving a life sentence with or without parole, or a “virtual” life sentence of 50 years or more, according to a new book by Marc Mauer and Ashley Nellis, featuring contributory lifer portraits by Kerry Myers, that was released in December. The Meaning of Life: The Case for Abolishing Life Sentences explores this unforgiving aspect of modern criminal justice and utilizes decades of research to answer in layman’s terms frequently-asked questions.

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Date: May 23, 2019

In 1997, Massachusetts lawmakers ended the death penalty but put in place life without parole (LWOP). Years later, several studies reveal that the expansion of LWOP sentences is counterproductive to public safety. Now a new bill in Massachusetts aims to provide all incarcerated people with a chance at parole.

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Date: May 7, 2019

After the federal First Step Act passed in 2018, a natural question for many in the reform community was “what comes next?” The Meaning of Life offers an answer: ending life sentences. Co-authored by Marc Mauer and Ashley Nellis, with supplemental material by Kerry Myers, The Meaning of Life is a ferociously persuasive case against the use of life sentences.

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Date: May 2, 2019

In an effort to scale back mass incarceration and the war on drugs, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar outlined a plan to set up a new system of clemency that would release thousands of people in federal prison with excessively long sentences, reports Vox.

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Date: April 29, 2019

Working to abolish life prison terms will take a shift in public will. State groups in California and New York are anchoring grassroots efforts to limit extreme sentences in support of scaling back mass incarceration.

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Date: April 15, 2019

On April 11, the state of Louisiana denied Henry Montgomery’s request for parole for the second time. He is 72 years old, and has been incarcerated since 1963. In 1969, he was sentenced to a term of life without the possibility of parole.

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Date: April 12, 2019

At least 16 states and the District of Columbia have introduced legislation authorizing retroactive sentencing remedies for persons sentenced to life imprisonment.

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Date: April 10, 2019

The longest prison sentence without parole in New Zealand’s history was 30 years, but following the mass shooting at mosques in Christchurch, the country may impose a life without parole (LWOP) sentence for the first time in its history, reports Vox’s German Lopez.

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Date: March 25, 2019

In a guest post for the Washington Post, Daniel S. Nagin, professor of public policy and statistics at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, highlighted The Sentencing Project’s Marc Mauer and Ashley Nellis’s “bold recommendation” of abolishing life sentences in order to address mass incarceration:

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