Norman Bryant was recently resentenced and made eligible for immediate parole under the Montgomery decision. YSRP is honored to have served as mitigation specialists in Norman's case. Read more about Norman here.
Today marks the 1-year anniversary of Montgomery v. Louisiana, the United States Supreme Court case that made approximately 500 people who were unconstitutionally sentenced to mandatory life sentences in prison without the possibility of parole when they were children eligible for resentencing here in Pennsylvania. Montgomery has meant so much to the individuals serving these sentences, and to their families and communities both within & outside of our prison system. Staff & volunteers at YSRP have shared laughs, cries, and so many emotions with hundreds of individuals who are going through the resentencing and reentry process - either personally or alongside their loved ones. We feel privileged to be a part of this process, and the progress it represents.
pictured: Earl Rice & Danny Peters, 2 of the first released juvenile lifers at a YSRP training for mitigation volunteers
Since the Montgomery decision, YSRP has:
been directly involved in the resentencing process for 27 individual "juvenile lifers," and has welcomed home 2 others
organized and presented at 4 CLEs and 4 other trainings for lawyers and mitigation specialists handling JLWOP cases in Pennsylvania & Michigan
recruited, trained & supervised over 60 law students from 5 area law schools (Temple, Drexel, Villanova, Widener & Penn) to work on individual cases
created and Co-Chaired a citywide Working Group of 80+ stakeholders to coordinate reentry services for juvenile lifers
coordinated the collection of education records for 115 juvenile lifers sentenced in Philadelphia
conducted workshops at 11 state prisons, with over 260 juvenile lifers to provide training and materials on self-advocacy in mitigation and reentry
provided resources and advice to attorneys, mitigation specialists, family members and individual juvenile lifers who reach out to us with questions
Here in Philadelphia and across the country, there is still so much work to do to ensure that the resentencing process occurs with the level of individualization, humanity, and meaningful opportunity for release that the Montgomery decision, and the U.S. Constitution require. We are grateful to our partners for joining us in the fight toward justice for those who were deprived of it for so long.