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The injustice against Aaron was eventually recognized and, in , after 20 years in prison, he became one of a relative handful of federal prisoners to receive a sentence commutation from President Obama. Cases such as his have fueled momentum for criminal justice reform in recent years, with major presidential candidates in both parties calling for a substantial reduction in our prison population, due to a U. But if a prison-reduction strategy is focused primarily on drug policy reform, we will be sorely disappointed in the results. Of the 2. So even if we were to release that entire group, we would still have a rate of incarceration far higher than that of any comparable nation.

The heart of the problem, as documented in a major report released by the National Research Council in , is that the tripling of the prison population since was produced by changes in policy, not crime rates. Half of the prison expansion resulted from sending more people to prison due to the increased adoption of mandatory sentencing policies and prosecutorial charging decisions, while half resulted from longer prison terms. The latter trend is increasingly the major barrier to substantial reductions in incarceration. Nationally, one of every nine people in prison—, prisoners—is serving a life sentence.

The excessively lengthy incarceration of offenders—yes, even for violent crimes—is counterproductive, costly, and inhumane.

A Journal of Ideas

To remedy this problem, Congress and state legislative bodies should establish an upper limit of 20 years in prison as a maximum penalty, except in unusual cases such as a serial rapist who has not been amenable to treatment in prison or a mass murderer. The rationale for such a policy shift is grounded in both humanitarian and public-safety concerns. Life sentences ruin families and tear apart communities; they deprive the person of the chance to turn his or her life around.

As is true of all adults, offenders mature in prison as they age and develop a longer-term vision for their lives. Research by leading criminologists Alfred Blumstein and Kiminori Nakamura demonstrates that an year-old arrested for robbery is no more likely to be arrested for this crime by the age of 26 than anyone in the general population. Thus, each successive year of incarceration after this decline sets in produces diminishing returns for public safety. This impact comes at great cost as well. Estimates are that the cost of imprisoning an elderly offender is double that of a young offender, largely due to high health-care costs.

This was a short, easy read about year old David Milgaard. Because he was a troubled kid and hanging out with the wrong kind of people, he was easily arrested, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison for a rape and murder he didn't commit. He served 23 years in prison before his determined mother and new lawyers were able to prove his innocence. Can you imagine being in prison that long for something you didn't do?

He was just a kid when he started his sentence! Before staying home with my This was a short, easy read about year old David Milgaard. Before staying home with my kids I was a criminal defense paralegal and these kinds of stories always fascinate me. How could law enforcement and the justice system make so many mistakes?

I would love to learn more about how he adjusted after being released. I liked it and can't wait to read more from this series. I received this book from NetGalley for review purposes. View 1 comment. Jul 11, Leeanne rated it really liked it. Sentenced to Life at Seventeen written by Cynthia J Faryon is a true crime, short novel that is sure to leave you on the edge of your seat.

A prison with no fresh air and hopes to be confined to solitary so you can feel safe. David Milgaard knows this all too well. This is the Milgaards story of bravery, preservice and unconditional love at its very core. This Gol Sentenced to Life at Seventeen written by Cynthia J Faryon is a true crime, short novel that is sure to leave you on the edge of your seat. This Golden-Oak Nominee is a quick, easy read packed with facts and a chronological timeline that is easy to follow. Yet at the end of the day, David chooses to forgive those who fought for so long to keep him in prison.

This book shows me forgiveness is possible, David found the path to forgiveness. Could you? May 22, Christine KizzieReads rated it liked it Shelves: reads , true-crime , library-books , rrrc. I love true crime, but this was way too short. There was no background info on anybody, it was very cut and dried. It was like reading a reader's digest version of a reader's digest version.

It was too short. It had a timeline in the back which was just as informative as the entire book.

All of the Central Park Five Suffered Terribly. But One of Their Stories Was Especially Horrific.

I was familiar with this case, having watched a program on it, and I got more out of the program than I did out of this book. Don't get me wrong, it is a book needed to be read, as it shows the lack of justice a I love true crime, but this was way too short. Don't get me wrong, it is a book needed to be read, as it shows the lack of justice at the time when DNA was not a major crime solving entity, and how fighting for your rights does, in the end, win out. I just wanted more from it. Oct 09, Melissa Boufounos rated it it was amazing.

Very quick read. I was hooked from the beginning and read it all in one sitting. Mar 04, Randy rated it liked it Shelves: canadian-author , non-fiction , red-maple , biography , David Milgaard has lived a nightmare that most of us will never understand. Through a series of bad decisions, and mistakes he ended up behind bars for a crime he did not commit. This is his story. I picked this book up because it is a Red Maple nominee. Also, the idea of an unjust system and fighting back against it is appealing.

Sentenced young: The story of life without parole for juvenile offenders | Al Jazeera America

I finished the book to discover the story behind the story. David's mother never gave up, sacrificing so much in order to prove her son's innocence. I am amazed and awed David Milgaard has lived a nightmare that most of us will never understand. I am amazed and awed by this. How many other prisoners are incarcerated due to errors of the system? I would recommend this to Aiyana, Mikaila and Tyler. I think there strong sense of justice will help them empathize with the Milgaard family. Mar 17, Vicki rated it liked it. This is the true story of David Milgaard, who at 17 was found guilty and sentenced to life for rape and murder.

Problem is, he really didn't do it. Not only was it shoddy police work but his own "friends" lied and said they saw him commit the crime. This is a very short book and very quick read. Problem is this case was so famous that there is nothing in it that hasn't been written about before or been on TV before. It is infuriating to read but again, knew everything already. However This is the true story of David Milgaard, who at 17 was found guilty and sentenced to life for rape and murder.


  • Real Justice: Sentenced to Life at Seventeen: The Story of David Milgaard;
  • Life imprisonment - Wikipedia.
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However if you haven't heard this case before, do read it. It is so unbelievable.

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Geez, they turned out to be his worst enemies. People that knew certain things just chose to let it go. I do hope they have a hard time sleeping at night. Apr 11, Stephanie F. This was a quick and interesting book to read. The subject matter is very fascinating and thought-provoking. It is scary to think that the judicial system can make such mammoth mistakes.

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The author shares the story of David Milgaard, who was wrongly convicted of murder. The story tells how David came to be in the place near where the murder happend, how he was convicted, and the struggle he and his family went through to exonerate him. I wish that the author was able to go into more detail with This was a quick and interesting book to read.

I wish that the author was able to go into more detail with all the people involved. I am just left feeling like I do not know enough. Mar 04, Jo rated it it was ok. What happened to David was tragic, and I am not giving his experience two stars, but rather the execution of the writing.