Press

For media inquiries, contact:
Kris Henderson
, Amistad Law Project, (215) 310-0424, kris@amistadlaw.org
Bret Grote, Abolitionist Law Center, (412) 654-9070, bretgrote@abolitionistlawcenter.org
Astha Sharma Pokharel, Drop LWOP Coalition, astha.sharmapokharel@gmail.com
TeAna Taylor, Release Aging People in Prison, (518) 847-5497
Jen Nessel, Center for Constitutional Rights, (212) 614-6449, jnessel@ccrjustice.org

Press Release

“Life without the possibility of parole is a death sentence,” said Joanne Scheer of the DROP LWOP Coalition. “It is a concrete box with death as the only exit. California currently has over 5,100 individuals surviving this death sentence. Every year, 135 human beings are added to this tortured population, most of whom are youth under the age of 25. Add the tens of thousands of family members and loved ones who are enduring without hope alongside them and entire communities are devastated.”

“I have had time to reflect on my decisions and the circumstances that led to my incarceration,” the great-grandmother reflected. “I’ve learned a great deal about myself and grown tremendously. I believe laws should be passed to abolish DBI sentences because it implies people are not capable of change. These sentences provide no relief for reformed individuals.”

“The U.S. should abolish death by incarceration sentences and ensure that the disproportionately Black and aging individuals serving these sentences are afforded the right to dignity, hope and redemption.”

“It shows me the other guys who were just as deserving as I was couldn’t make it not because they are not worthy but because the process is super arbitrary. The system doesn’t allow room for a person to seek redemption.”

“I always believed I would eventually go home.  I couldn’t see it all the time, and that belief was under constant assault because there was this other thought in the back that I had to fight every conscious moment that I was in prison—there was this thought that said to me, Terrell, what are you fighting for—you’re going to die in prison.”