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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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Date: February 28, 2019

Most western democracies have few or no people serving life sentences, yet here in the United States, over 200,000 people are serving life in prison. In The Sentencing Project’s new book, The Meaning of Life: The Case for AbolishMORE »

Date: February 15, 2019

On October 11, 2018, the Washington State Supreme Court struck down the state’s use of the death penalty due to overwhelming evidence of racial bias. Key players, including the state’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Governor Jay Inslee, praised this move as a distinction of humaneness. Ferguson went so far as to assure us, “WeMORE »

Date: February 13, 2019

America puts more people in jail and prison than any other country in the world. Although the country has managed to slightly reduce its prison population in recent years, mass incarceration remains a fact of the US criminal justice system.

It’s time for a radical idea that could really begin to reverse mass incarceration:MORE »

Date: January 28, 2019

When Trina Garnett was 14 years old when she killed two people in Chester, Pennsylvania. Garnett had been abused and neglected for most of her life, suffered a serious intellectual disability and was homeless at the time of her offense. Despite these challenges, the girl wasMORE »

Date: January 15, 2019

The Sentencing Project’s executive director Marc Mauer and senior research analyst Ashley Nellisco-authors of The Meaning of Life: The Case for Abolishing Life Sentences (The New Press, 2018), argue against any sentence longer than 20 years on WNYC’s the Brian Lehrer Show.

Listen here.

Date: January 11, 2019

Cyntoia Brown, a Tennessee woman serving a life sentence, has been granted clemency and will be coming home this summer after 15 years in prison. Cyntoia was a victim of child sex trafficking and earned national attention after her case was acknowledged by Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, and other Hollywood celebrities.

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Date: January 9, 2019

The Sentencing Project’s Marc Mauer was recently featured on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah to discuss his new book with Ashley Nellis, The Meaning of Life: The Case for Abolishing Life Sentences. Marc and Trevor discussed the relationship between mass incarceration and life sentences, and why life sentences are actually counterproductive to public safety.

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Date: December 23, 2018

NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro speaks with Robert Holbrook, who was given a life sentence, and Ashley Nellis, co-author of the book “The Meaning of Life: The Case for Abolishing Life Sentences.”

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

The criminal justice bill that just passed Congress has renewed hope for those incarcerated in the U.S. prison system. Among the reforms,MORE »