A number of groups are devoted to reforming youth sentencing. But in the realm of criminal justice activism, life sentences have not been a focus (indeed, many opponents of the death penalty have pushed life without parole as the best alternative to executions). “A good deal of [advocacy] focuses on removing low-level, nonviolent offenders from jails and prisons because they comprise such a large proportion of the incarcerated population,” says Ashley Nellis, an analyst with the Sentencing Project. Whereas the obvious excesses of the drug war have met resistance, when it comes to violent crimes, even young defendants have comparatively few advocates in their corner.

From The Nation’s recent article on juvenile life without parole. Read here.