Juveniles do change

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Although I beg ignorance on the law and imprisonment, I speak loudly and clearly on the subject of life sentences for juveniles (“Justices Decline to Hear Pa. Case on Mandatory Life for Juveniles,” June 10). It is inhumane (a word usually affiliated with cruelty to animals, and I use this word on purpose) to incarcerate a human being who has not reached adulthood because of a serious crime committed as a youth. Young people can change, be sorry for what they did as a juvenile and can be returned to life outside prison if they are given a chance.

Let us treat juveniles as human beings with souls, made by God Almighty, to eventually spend their eternity with God who created them. If God can forgive, which He does, why cannot the courts forgive? I am not condoning committing crimes and then saying you are forgiven, so go out and commit more crimes. No way! What I am condoning is the attitude of humaneness, the attitude of understanding that human beings can change, that they are not for the rest of their lives just as they were at 15 or 17. We all know that from living with ourselves. The things we might have done as teenagers can be abhorrent to us as adults.

I pray that mandatory life sentences for juveniles will be abolished unless there is a very grave reason not to.


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