Parole for juvenile lifers: victim’s family’s perspective

    Nearly 450 people who committed their crimes before age 18 are locked away for life in Pennsylvania, without the chance for parole. The issue is drawing attention because the Commonwealth has the highest number of juvenile lifers in the U-S. At a recent hearing in Harrisburg experts and families testified on both sides of the issue.

    Nearly 450 people who committed their crimes before age 18 are locked away for life in Pennsylvania, without the chance for parole. The issue is drawing attention because the Commonwealth has the highest number of juvenile lifers in the U-S. At a recent hearing in Harrisburg experts and families testified on both sides of the issue.

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    Kathleen O’Hara is a Philadelphia therapist an author. In May of 1999, her son Aaron was abducted from his house at Franciscan University in Ohio along with his room mate Brian. They were shot in the woods in Pennsylvania, and not found until five days later. Two young men were arrested in connection with the murder two days later, tried, and convicted.

    O’Hara is an activist for victims’ rights, and counsels families going through similar situations. She has written “A Grief Like No Other: Surviving the Violent Death of Someone You Love.”

    Hear Maiken Scott’s interview with Kathleen O’Hara here:

    headphonesListen:

    [audio:sci20081003kathleen.mp3]

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    Watch video testimony from a juvenile lifer:
    [quicktime height=315px]http://www.whyy.org/news/healthsciencepages/_video_files/sci20081002lifer.mov[/quicktime]

     

     

    Read Dr. Laurence Steinberg’s testimony on adolescents and brain development from the recent hearing on juvenile lifers in Harrisburg:

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