Thursday, February 28, 2008

(TN) 9TH Grader punished for taking .40 lunch/WHAT????

OK folks, here is a perfect example of ZERO TOLERANCE gone TOO FAR.........appauling?? ridiculous??? God help us all!!!!........The smallest infractions, mistakes a child makes, could in fact land them in prison, the court cost alone, and cost of the judge, gas for law officials vehicle is far more than the .40 for the lunch!!!!! Where is the compassion, where is the understanding and mercy?????ZERO TOLERANCE POLICIES are holding kids TO BE PERFECT, NO ERRORS, NO MISTAKES!!!! NOT condoning what he did, but certainly could have been handled at school and NOT involve the "law" how pathetic!!!!what a barbaric society we are forced to live in, DUH ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ninth Grader Punished For Taking 40-Cent Lunch

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Far too often, unfortunately, juvenile justice advocates are ostracized, for their voices/campaigns for juvenile justice. If we do not speak up for these children, who will???

In all of the election speeches so far, none have addressed this growing problem of trying "children" as adults, any direction toward "helping" "fix" the system, seems NOT to be on their campaign agenda. The "impact" of our support letters/ph calls/emails and continuing to share info for public awareness is vital, crucial in helping our nation's children, from continued "destruction" at the very hands of this gov't. It is NOT about YOU, it is NOT about ME, the sole FOCUS is helping to get these barbaric laws "changed" in hopes that NOT another "child" will be forced into "state sanctioned" murder.

Remember what these 2 gentleman said?

Martin Luther King, Jr. who said: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”~

They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. ~ Carl W. Buechner ~

Coming together, in active participation, as an "advocate team", we CAN make a difference for so many young lives!!

Sunday, February 24, 2008



Many "young" children are facing life in prison with NO chance at all for any parole!! We must help end these atrocities against our nation's children. Please share this link with those in your world.

Amnesty International

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Remembering Mary Ellen

My name is Mary Ellen McCormack. I don't know how old I am... I have never had but one pair of shoes, but I can't recollect when that was. I have no shoes or stocking this winter... I have never had on a particle of flannel. My bed at night is only a piece of carpet, stretched on the floor underneath a window, and I sleep in my little undergarment, with a quilt over me. I am never allowed to play with any children or have any company whatever. Mamma has been in the habit of whipping and beating me almost every day. She used to whip me with a twisted whip, a raw hide. The whip always left black and blue marks on my body. I have now on my head two black and blue marks which were made by mamma with the whip, and a cut on the left side of my forehead which was made by a pair of scissors in mamma's hand. She struck me with the scissors and cut me. I have no recollection of ever having been kissed, and have never been kissed by mamma. I have never been taken on my mamma's lap, or caressed or petted. I have never dared to speak to anybody, because if I did I would get whipped. Whenever mamma went out I was locked up in the bedroom... I have no recollection of ever being in the street in my life.
(excerpt from url)


One of many "children" who get barbaric sentencings for "mistakes" made as a child, Antonio Nunez, got life without any chance of parole, AND 4 life sentences, 121 years, is barbaric and inhumane.

Many ADULTS who deliberately murder/do a crime, do NOT get such a barbaric sentencing. Antonio was ONLY his case NO ONE was injured!!~~sentenced in June/03


Evan Ramsey, age 14, Alaska, in ref to a school shooting, got 210 years!!!!!

Years ago, one child stated "I would rather be "wanted" for murder, than NOT "wanted at all"!!!!

THIS IS "STATE SANCTIONED MURDER" of this child!! When will this madness EVER end??

Many officials are getting away with many illegal things, YET, I have never read where any one of them EVER got such a barbaric sentencing as "children" DO!!!

Just take a look at It is indeed, APPAULING!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

BULLYING can be DEADLY, &/or long prison terms

Bullies are adults as well as children, where did they learn it? Many exposures to bullying, yet NOT dealt with soon enough, and lives are forever lost..........


Sunday, February 17, 2008



(excerpt-please READ full article, lengthy, but well worth your time to read all of it

Lisa M. Krzewinski*

Abstract: Juveniles’ susceptibility to suggestion, coupled with their inherent naiveties and immature thought processes, raise considerable doubt as to their ability to understand and exercise their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Furthermore, they are extremely vulnerable to overimplicating themselves in crimes or, even more unfortunate for all involved, confessing to crimes they did not even commit. To protect the rights and interests of juveniles, states must enact several safeguards. This Note suggests, for example, that courts which currently use a totality of the circumstances test to determine whether a juvenile confession is voluntary, and thus not a violation of the Fifth Amendment, should abandon it in favor of a less-flexible per se rule. Additionally, states need to simplify the Miranda warning into language more conducive to juveniles’ comprehension. To increase the reliability of confessions and prevent false confessions altogether, interrogators need to cease using the same interrogation tactics, such as leading questions and the presentation of false evidence, on juveniles as they do on adults.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


This is incomprehensible, another 13 yr old child did, in fact committ a "murder" in MO, but that case remained in "juvenile" court, WHY NOT THOMAS'S CASE?? Both kids were of the SAME AGE!!!!!! One did do a murder, the other one DID NOT. this is justice????? "NOT"
MO claims to be a "model" state, for rehabilitation and help for "juveniles"!!! WHERE IS IT, IN THOMAS'S CASE????? His case clearly "contradicts" what MO "claims" for juveniles in that state.
If you believe this child has NOT recieved justice in his case, PLEASE WRITE YOUR SUPPORT LETTER TO THE REPORTER OF THIS ARTICLE, EMAIL ADDRESS IS BELOW. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Judge denies bond reduction in school-gun case
Reference: case details:

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Junvenile Lifers should have an OPTION for parole!

“Children are simply less culpable than adults,” Klawiter said. “Because they are not yet fully formed, children are capable of change and rehabilitation and reform.”

How many thousands of times have we advocates said the above, again it is such a simple equation, children are NOT adults!! Why do they have to do study after study to come to the above conclusion??? DUH The children are being just warehoused!!! Even if they are lucky to get parole, they will NOT have any educational and social skills to help them blend into society, NO rehabilitive efforts to help prepare them for the "outside world". They will be at the sheer mercy of anyone who is kind enough to offer them a helping hand. What a disgrace our nation has become!!!!! By time officials get around to changing the laws, there will be a lot of DEAD imprisoned children!!!

ALL juvenile justice advocates are strongly URGED to send letters and/or contact your local, state and federal officials, and the media, requesting of them to investigate the present day laws "governing children"!!!! BE A VOICE FOR THESE CHILDREN, if we DON'T, WHO WILL???


Wednesday, February 13, 2008 9:29 PM CST
New study: Juvenile lifers should have option of parole
JG/T-C Springfield Bureau

A study released Wednesday urges the state of Illinois to do away with sentencing juveniles to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The Illinois Coalition for the Fair Sentencing of Children released the report. The coalition, which includes law firms, law schools, and human rights organizations, identified 103 people in Illinois prisons who were sentenced to life without possibility of parole when they were minors.

Rich Klawiter, a Chicago attorney and member of the coalition, said neurological and psychological studies show that sentencing minors to life imprisonment is inappropriate. “Children are simply less culpable than adults,” Klawiter said. “Because they are not yet fully formed, children are capable of change and rehabilitation and reform.”

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Who murdered Nate Kirk? A father grieves, wants justice for his son

I urge those who view my blog pages, to please do not fail to read this information case about Nate Kirk, please lend your support

(CO)Lawmakers debate giving young murder convicts second chances

"Williams said, if this bill becomes law, it would only apply to future cases, not to juveniles currently serving life terms in the Department of Corrections."
WHERE IS THE JUSTICE?? What right do officials have, in the taking of "yet" another "life"? In the so called "tough on crime" scenario, officials have long become, so cold, so cruel, so inhumane, so UNFORGIVING, they feel "Justified", in the taking of these "children's lives. THIS IS BARBARIC, and must be stopped. Officials are literally "killing" these kids, and "getting away with it", and call it justice!!! The above quote is discrimination, if officials truly want to help/reform the "system", and if this law is passed, it SHOULD include ALL who were under 18 at the time of alleged crime. My heart goes out to Jacob Ind, Eric Jensen and others in CO, who are sentenced to DIE in prison, for mistakes made as a "child". This is so barbaric and inhumane
Lawmakers Debate Giving Young Murder Convicts Second Chance

Some Convicts Could Be Sentenced To Youth System Instead Of Mandatory Life
By Lance Hernandez,
7NEWS Reporter
POSTED: 9:05 pm MST February 11, 2008
UPDATED: 10:59 pm MST February 11, 2008

DENVER -- Should juveniles convicted of felony murder have to spend the rest of their lives behind bars if they weren't the assailant? Right now, Colorado judges have no choice. Felony murder carries a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole. But some state lawmakers said current law is too strict and that some juveniles could benefit from a second chance.

"Do we, and when do we give them a second chance?" asked state Sen. Suzanne Williams, D-Arapahoe County. Williams is sponsoring a bill that would reduce first-degree murder to a class two felony if the defendant was under 18 years of age at the time of the offense, and did not commit or assist in committing the homicidal act.

The proposal would make a defendant convicted of class two felony first-degree murder eligible for sentencing to the youthful offender system. The policy director of the Colorado Defense Bar said recidivism rates are lower for kids who get rehabilitative treatment instead of just spending time behind bars. Maureen Cain said that according to the Centers For Disease Control, it's a public health issue.

"Brains don't develop when they're locked up and not challenged," Cain said. "If you have them (juveniles) in a program where they learn and are challenged and they feel nurtured and they feel supported, then their brain will continue its front lobe development and you will get a healthier adult and an adult who won't recidivate." Williams said there are 48 juveniles who have been sentenced to life without parole in Colorado.

Among them, Curtis Brooks. He was 15 years old when he and two friends stole a car in Aurora, while the owner was getting some cash at an ATM. One of the other boys shot and killed the motorist, then pleaded guilty by reason of insanity. Brooks is serving a life sentence even though someone else pulled the trigger. Williams’ bill would give judges another option in future cases like Brooks’

“This bill has led to a lot of emotional turmoil,” said Sen. Bob Bacon, D-Larimer County. “Sometimes it seems like it’s not the Department of Corrections, but the Department of Retribution,” Bacon said. “Certainly I want safety for the public.” After being amended to omit sex offenders, the proposal passed by a slim 4-3 vote Monday afternoon in the Senate Judiciary Committee. It now goes on to the Appropriations Committee. Williams said, if this bill becomes law, it would only apply to future cases, not to juveniles currently serving life terms in the Department of Corrections.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

(FL)Gov. believes lock-them-up mentality for juveniles often makes them worse

"As Gov. Crist always says, we can never give up on our young people," said Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp of Southwest Florida. "The governor believes that a 'lock-them-up' mentality for juveniles often makes them worse. That approach throws away the keys to rehabilitation."

What about the many children who are abandoned to life and life with no chance of parole, how about abolishing THAT??? Does the gov actually KNOW first hand, the abuse these children suffer on a daily basis, so many left to be forgotten, doomed to die in prison. What about them???

Advocates are highly encouraged to write the gov and Lt gov of Florida, speaking up for these children. Email and postal addresses at the link below ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Editorial Report
right on juveniles
Originally posted on February 08, 2008

Finally, we have something like an official position by the State of Florida that the get-tough approach to juvenile crime has failed miserably. For the vast majority of juveniles in trouble, early intervention and rehabilitation work much better in preventing the kid from turning into an adult criminal. "As Gov. Crist always says, we can never give up on our young people," said Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp of Southwest Florida. "The governor believes that a 'lock-them-up' mentality for juveniles often makes them worse. That approach throws away the keys to rehabilitation." Kottkamp spoke this week as he took delivery of a report from the Blueprint Commission charged with finding ways to reform juvenile justice in Florida. It made 52 recommendations aimed largely at diverting juveniles away from incarceration toward programs aimed at making them productive citizens. Included are community-based programs to keep kids out of the system, small residential facilities that better nurture offenders, and more attention to mental and physical health needs. Special concerns include the large numbers of minority youngsters locked up by the system, the lack of programs for girls and the "zero tolerance" programs in schools that have made criminal offenses out of many minor transgressions. This approach will cost lots of money, but it's cheaper than letting kids become criminals - and it better protects the public.

Friday, February 8, 2008



"OMG, NOT MY CHILD?" Many in this nation on a daily basis, those words are said, witnessing their "child" caught up in an arrest, for the "smallest" infraction/mistake, perhaps for an alleged crime, what to do next is unknown to the child and parents.

By law, this child is afforded a public defender, most of us cannot afford a private attorney, and have to rely on the expertise in law, of this public defender. Child is NOT aware of their "miranda rights", many are questioned and "interrogated" "WITHOUT" an attorney, interrogations are NOT videoed, and so goes this scenario of yet another child, "railroaded" by the so called justice system.

The deaf, dumb and blind(so to speak) of the officials and general society continues to destroy our nation's children.

The devastation of shattered lives, broken hearts, and financial RUIN, can be done in ONLY a few moments. THIS IS REALITY/FACTS!!!

It is ELECTION YEAR, YOU are strongly urged to get involved in these juvenile justice issues, the present day laws contribute to the 'destruction" of children.

2380 children are serving life and life with NO chance of parole, many with NO mail, NO visitors, NO canteen funds, thrown away to LITERALLY "DIE" IN PRISON, for "alleged" mistakes "made" as a "child"

Children in some states, AS YOUNG AS 7 YRS OF AGE, CAN and ARE "tried as ADULTS", and sentenced AS ADULTS..........PLEASE THINK ABOUT THIS VERY CAREFULLY AND VERY HARD!!!!

AMERICA...........IT IS LONG OVER DUE TO.........."WAKE UP"!!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008



February 6, 2008 Editorial
A Shameful Record

The United States leads the world in a shameful category: the number of people it has locked up for life without parole for crimes committed by juveniles. Juvenile crime should not be taken lightly, but young people should not be completely written off.

According to Human Rights Watch, 2,380 people in this country are serving life sentences for crimes they committed before they turned 18. That makes the United States an extreme global outlier. Sentencing juveniles to life without parole is at odds with international law; the vast majority of the world’s countries ban the practice. Some juvenile criminals commit horrible crimes, and the justice system should punish them accordingly. Juveniles, though, are not adults. Even their brain development is different, making them less able than older people to resist impulses. Consideration should also be given to the nature of the crime.

In some cases, juveniles have been imprisoned for life for acting as accessories or lookouts for adults. Putting a 16-year-old who played such a role in jail for perhaps 65 years is an extraordinarily harsh, and expensive, societal response. There are ongoing efforts in several states to impose sorely needed balance to the law. In California, the Legislature recently failed to act on a bill that would have allowed the more than 225 inmates serving life sentences there for crimes committed as minors the right to appear before a parole board after serving 25 years in prison.

The bill deserves to be reintroduced, and to pass. California is hardly the only state that needs to rethink its approach. As many as 38 states sentence minors to life without the chance of parole, including Pennsylvania, the worst offender, where hundreds of inmates — estimates range from 360 to 433 — have no hope of ever being released because of crimes they committed between the ages of 13 and 18.

There are now more than 2 million people behind bars in the United States.

Locking up juveniles for life without parole is unfair and a poor use of criminal justice resources. California, and the other states, should rethink this misguided policy.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


A major injustice in South Carolina

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


On June 8, 1964, Gerald Gault, 15, was charged with making an obscene phone call to a neighbor. That minor adolescence prank would eventually lead to the most important decision ever handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court on the rights of young offenders.

Declaring that "under our Constitution, the condition of being a boy does not justify a kangaroo court," the Supreme Court held that certain basic rights enjoyed by adult criminal defendants must also be accorded to youngsters facing hearings in the nation's juvenile courts.

Now, a terribly sad case that I first wrote about in February, 2005, could produce the most significant decision affecting juvenile rights since the Supreme Court's landmark decision in Gault. The case, Pittman v. South Carolina, is the perfect vehicle for the court to rescue a juvenile justice system hijacked by pandering politicians, exploited by politically ambitious prosecutors, and sacrificed by politically conscious judges.

Christopher Pittman was a little boy -- barely 5 feet tall and weighing under 100 pounds -- whom life hadn't treated very well. After a relentlessly chaotic home environment led him to attempt suicide, Christopher was admitted to a psychiatric facility and eventually prescribed Zoloft, an antidepressant generally not recommended for children.

It seemed that the boy finally caught a break when he was sent to live with his paternal grandparents, two people whom he dearly loved, in South Carolina. Unfortunately, however, nobody was monitoring his intake of Zoloft.

On Nov. 28, 2001, in an act light-years removed from the real Christopher Pittman, the boy shot and killed both of his grandparents while they were sleeping. Shortly thereafter, alone and terrified, Christopher was interrogated by police who promptly extracted a confession from him. Although Christopher's case obviously belonged in the Family Court where he could have gotten the help that he so desperately needed, prosecutors insisted on trying the 12 year-old as an adult.

In an act of rank cowardice, Circuit Court Judge Daniel Pieper allowed the ridiculous spectacle to proceed. After an intolerably long three years during which he was held without bail, Christopher, now looking significantly older and more mature, was finally brought to trial.
Before what was laughably empanelled as a jury of the young defendant's peers, two highly qualified mental health experts testified that Christopher was "involuntarily intoxicated" on Zoloft and exhibiting psychotic features at the time of the killings.

Nevertheless, the jury convicted Christopher of two counts of murder and Pieper imposed South Carolina's mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years.
Last June, the South Carolina Supreme Court upheld both the conviction and the sentence. Thus, for something that he did when he was a suicidal, depressed, improperly medicated 12 year-old child, Christopher is now sitting in an adult prison.

The effort to wrest Christopher from South Carolina's version of Hades now moves to the U.S. Supreme Court where an application for review is being filed. I am supporting that effort as an amicus curiae or friend of the court along with H. Ted Rubin, a retired judge of the Denver Juvenile Court, and Jeanne Meurer, a district court judge in Austin, Texas.

My interest and experience in juvenile law spans my entire legal career. As an attorney, I defended kids charged with virtually every crime on the books, including murder. As a family court judge, I presided over hundreds of juvenile cases, many of which involved very serious charges.

I know first hand that the great majority of kids, including those who have done some really bad things, can be rehabilitated if accorded the multifaceted remedial services that only juvenile courts can provide. I also know that shipping redeemable children to adult prisons is not only exceedingly cruel but counterproductive because it ensures that they will emerge as cynical, hardened criminals.

If the application for review is accepted, the Pittman case will give the U.S. Supreme Court a historic opportunity to declare that subjecting juveniles to mandatory jail terms in adult prisons violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. This because it deprives trial judges of the opportunity to evaluate the child's rehabilitative potential in light of his age and level of maturity.

The case also offers the court the chance to rule once and for all that juveniles, particularly those as young as Christopher, are incapable of waiving their Miranda rights in the absence of a parent, guardian, or attorney to advise them.

Several people who maintain contact with Christopher have told me that he is a remarkably caring, compassionate kid who, not surprisingly, is a model prisoner.
He could, of course, just as easily be a model citizen, but South Carolina doesn't care about that. Neither do most other states these days. That's why it's important that the U.S. Supreme Court seize the opportunity to drill it into their skulls.

Daniel Leddy's On The Law column appears each Tuesday on the Advance Op-Ed Page.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Pill Push Rage - NY Senator Stands Up!

Very good news in this story. Seems like Senator Thomas Morahan (R. Rockland) from NY, who also happens to chair the Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, see that tons of dough has been spent by the state to keep kids on these dangerous drugs....even though they are not approved for the use of children.

February 4, 2008 -- A key New York state senator demanded yesterday that top health and mental-health officials explain why the Medicaid program has been paying for tens of thousands of children to receive psychiatric drugs that have not been FDA-approved for kids.
Thomas Morahan (R-Rockland), chairman of the senate's Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, said he was stunned by a Sunday Post report that the state Medicaid program spent $82.8 million on powerful antipsychotics, anticonvulsants and antidepressants for children under 18 in 2006 - a sum up nearly $15 million since 2004.
Many of the drugs have potentially dangerous side effects and have not been adequately tested or approved as safe and effective for children.
"I have deep concerns for the well-being of all children in our state, whether they receive medication through Medicaid or through other means," Morahan said. "It is critical that state agencies be fully responsible and aware of the medical ramifications of psychiatric drugs."
Morahan called on the Health Department and the Office of Mental Health to issue a report by Feb. 25.
While the drugs - mostly approved for adults - can be effective in treating illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, experts fear they may be overprescribed or used to control common behavior problems.
The drugs have serious possible side effects, including diabetes caused by weight gain, Parkinson's-like movement disorders and breast growth in boys. Several of the drugs carry FDA "black box" warnings that the medication may cause youngsters to become suicidal.
Medicaid officials told The Post they pay claims for the drugs without requiring doctors or other prescribers to give a specific diagnosis. Officials could not say what the kids were treated for.

It is all about $$$$$, at the destruction of many children, drugs is a cop out, in many cases, instead of taking the time to raise the child, many are put on drugs, ....the side affects, adverse reactions, contraindication of, is NOT known to the child, they are FORCED to take these drugs, if and when a "reaction" occurs, causing child to do something, he would NOT "normally" DO, such as a crime, "they" are the ONLY ones held responsible, yet, WHO gave them the drug to begin with??? The "adults" in the child's world, CAUSED INCIDENT TO HAPPEN!!!! but it is only the child that gets the barbaric and inhumane treatment and sentencing. Until these law atrocities, "are changed", unfortunately many more children will be destroyed

Sunday, February 3, 2008


“As a society, can we really decide that a sixteen year old is absolutely unredeemable,” said Javier Stauring, Co-Director of the Office of Restorative Justice for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. “That’s what a life without parole sentence does—there is no chance for redemption, no real opportunity for rehabilitation.”
"Children" deserve a "chance" "offered", to turn their young lives around, to become a productive member of society..........LIFE and LIFE WITH "NO" CHANCE OF PAROLE is barbaric and inhumane, and is "state sanctioned murder", what right do officials "have", to "take" "yet" another life?? General society has long become so cold, so harsh, so unforgiving, so non=caring, full of anger, hate, vengeance, that contributes to the destruction of many of our nation's children. Stop and think, what would YOU DO, what would be YOUR REACTIONS??? if YOUR child was facing such atrocities???? The fear and devastation of the family unit, will destroy your soul.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


Article is quite lengthy, but well worth your time to read.......

"For 40 years, Leonard Weinglass has been the defence lawyer in some of America's most spectacular trials, representing the Chicago Eight, the kidnappers of Patty Hearst and the man who helped bring down President Nixon. He tells Duncan Campbell why the current case of the Cuban Five shows how politics is derailing the US justice system"

"The UN general assembly considered a ban on life sentences for juveniles - people under 18 - and the vote was 185 in favour of the ban with only the US voting against. That is because we have 2,300 juveniles doing life, including some from 13 years old. This generates no discussion in the US. In the 60s, a life sentence would mean that after 24 years you would be eligible for parole, and you would have to be released after 34. Under the Clinton administration, they abolished parole. If you get life, you are in prison until you die."

Justice for Wisconsin Youth

Please review this information and share with those in your world, make YOUR voices heard for our nation's children. YOU CAN make a "difference"

All kids deserve fair treatment in court. WCCF seeks to ensure that kids are treated through the juvenile court so their developmental needs can be better accounted for throughout the court and rehabilitative process. In the past decade, about 1800 juveniles have been admitted to adult prisons, and between 2002 and 2004 over 18,500 17-year-olds were processed through the adult jails.)