Innocence Institute Investigates Juvenile Life Without Parole In Justice Magazine Vol. 2
By Matt Stroud
In 1997, Greg Brown Jr. was tried and sentenced to life in prison for igniting a blaze in his family’s Homewood residence that lead to the death of three City of Pittsburgh firefighters. Brown has always claimed innocence in the arson he was convicted of committing when he was 17-years-old, but now, after a multi-year investigation by the Innocence Institute, new evidence supports Brown’s claim that he did not commit the crime that landed him in prison for life.
Brown’s incredible story and others are now available exclusively in the Innocence Institute’s newly-released Justice magazine — a visceral, 70-page collection of investigative journalism outlining the stories of 15 young men and women including Brown who were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole before they turned 18-years-old. These cases all take place in Pennsylvania because the Keystone State incarcerates more juvenile lifers than any other state in the country by far.
Members of this rare group of prisoners — collectively known as “juvenile lifers” — are part of a major nationwide debate that has resulted in two recent rulings by the Supreme Court of the United States. Those rulings strengthened advocates’ belief that kids are by nature different from adults and should therefore be given special treatment when they are sentenced to lifetime prison terms.
To find out more about Pennsylvania’s strict laws for juvenile lifers — and about young people sentenced to life in prison for crimes they allegedly committed before they turned 18 — please visit this link.
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