Saturday, May 12, 2012

50 year old Chester female featured in criminal study

This is one of the most heartbreaking stories I’ve ever read.

On August 29, 1976, around 1:40 am, a fire erupted at 1138 Spruce Street in Chester, Pennsylvania. The building, in a row of two-family homes just south of the Delaware Expressway, burned for two hours, killing two boys: 13-year-old Brian Harvey and his 6-year-old brother, Derrick.
Neighbors spotted two local girls at the scene: 16-year-old Frances Newsome and 14-year-old Trina Garnett. But according to early reports in the Delaware County Daily Times, “the immediate focus” was Trina, a “mysterious girl” with a “grudge” against Sylvia Harvey, the boys’ mother. 
Trina is one of approximately 470 prisoners in Pennsylvania serving life without parole for crimes they committed as teenagers. In thirty-five years the state has gone from holding a small handful of juvenile lifers with no chance at release to holding the highest number in the country. Nationwide, the number stands at around 2,589; of these, only a small fraction—seventy-nine—were sentenced for crimes committed when they were 14 or younger. Eighteen are in Pennsylvania.
In March the Sentencing Project released the results of the first national survey of prisoners sentenced to life without parole as a juvenile. Its scope was significant: 1,579 prisoners, or about 60 percent of the total population, had responded. Of those prisoners, 79 percent reported “witnessing violence in their homes.” Almost half “experienced physical abuse, including 79.5% of girls.” Poverty, neglect and trauma were consistent themes.
The ramped-up sentencing of children as adults had a disparate racial impact, reflecting long-held attitudes that kids of color are more criminal in nature and have less rehabilitative potential. Today, black and Latino teens are far more likely to be sentenced to life without parole, particularly for killing a white person. Of the 13- and 14-year-olds sent to die in prison, 70 percent are, like Trina, kids of color.
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1 comment:

  1. How awful, but we knew that all our lives, that "if you're Brown yu go down and if you're white it will be alright" nothings change, nothing will ever change with this especially with our children and and our genecide..