Foster Kids Sentenced to Life Without Parole - Kuntrell Jackson's Story

in familyprotection •  2 years ago  (edited)

There are more than 2,100 child offenders serving life without parole sentences in United States for crimes they committed before the age of 18. A huge majority of these children are from broken homes and were already in the custody of CPS and had been for many years prior to committing serious crimes .

The United States is the only nation in the world that permits children under the age of 18 who commit crimes to be sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Twenty states and the District of Columbia have now banned life sentences without the possibility of parole for juveniles. Some states are still very reliant on prisons rather than rehabilitation or improving their communities.

Almost all Juvenile Life Without Parole cases were a result of childhood trauma. 79 percent of minors sentenced to life without parole witnessed violence in their homes, almost 50 percent experienced physical abuse,18 percent were not living with relatives at the time they were incarcerated, and were homeless or living with friends, being housed in a detention facility, treatment center, or living in a group or foster home home.

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Photo Credits: Google Images

Kuntrell Jackson's Story

Kuntrell Jackson

Kuntrell Jackson grew up in public housing projects in Blytheville, Arkansas, a community famous for drugs and violence, including several shootings. His biological father abandoned the family when Kuntrell was 5 and never played a significant role in Kuntrell’s life. Leander Hobo, a boyfriend of Kuntrell’s mother, was the closest thing Kuntrell had. When Kuntrell was 6, his mother was incarcerated for shooting a neighbor.

When Kantrell was 14, he, a cousin and their friend planned to rob a video store. Jackson later learned that the friend, Evan Miller, was carrying a shotgun. He was inside the store when his friend shot and killed the clerk. Due to the fact that Kantrell had prior arrests for shoplifting and car theft, he was tried as an adult. He received a mandatory life sentence without the chance of parole.

Lawyers for the Equal Rights Initiative, a civil-rights group that represented Kuntrel Jackson and Evan Miller (see my last post), argued that their sentences amount to cruel and unusual punishment. They stated that teenagers' brains aren't fully developed, leaving them less able to control their behavior than adults. They also added that adolescents are more capable of change, and therefore are better candidates for potential rehabilitation, than adults.

In their {Oral argument dated March. 20, 2012 - Jackson v. Hobbs (10-9647)-Appealed from: Supreme Court of Arkansas (Oct. 7, 2004), Lawyers for the Equal Rights Initiative presented the following questions:

1. Does imposition of a life-without-parole sentence on a fourteen-year-old child convicted of homicide violate the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments' prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments, when the extreme rarity of such sentences in practice reflects a national consensus regarding the reduced criminal culpability of young children?

2. Does such a sentence violate the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments when it is imposed upon a fourteen-year-old who did not personally kill the homicide victim, did not personally engage in any act of physical violence toward the victim, and was not shown even to have anticipated, let alone intended, that anyone be killed?

3. Does such a sentence violate the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments when it is imposed upon a fourteen-year-old as a result of a mandatory sentencing scheme that categorically precludes consideration of the offender's young age or any other mitigating circumstances?

On June 25, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Miller v. Alabama, No. 10-9646, and Jackson v. Hobbs, No. 10-9647, holding that a state's mandatory minimum sentence of life without parole for juvenile offenders violates the Eight Amendment's proscription on "cruel and unusual punishment." Instead, individualized sentencing determinations must be made, taking into account the offender's youth..

The Supreme Court’s decision in this case further defined the Eighth Amendment’s limits on cruel and unusual punishment in the juvenile sentencing. This ruling applied even to those persons who had committed murder as a juvenile.

Petitioner Jackson maintains that the developmental immaturity of juveniles, their lessened culpability, and the national consensus against life-without-parole sentences for juvenile homicide offenders indicate that the Eighth Amendment prohibits imposition of a life-without-parole sentence on a 14-year-old juvenile felony-murder convict. Respondent Hobbs maintains that there is national acceptance of life-without-parole sentences for juvenile murderers, and despite the differences between juveniles and adults, a life sentence is justified given the severity of homicide and Jackson's high culpability. The Supreme Court's decision will have a significant impact on the futures of juveniles convicted of felony-murder and on states’ juvenile justice codes.

"Mandatory life without parole for those under age of 18 at the time of their crime violates the 8th Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishments. Mandatory life without parole for a juvenile precludes consideration of his chronological age and its hallmark features – among them, immaturity, impetuosity, and failure to appreciate risks and consequences. It prevents taking into account the family and home environment that surrounds him – and from which he cannot usually extricate himself – no matter how brutal or dysfunctional." - Justice Elena Kagan

Read - Foster Kids Sentenced to Life Without Parole - Evan Miller's Story

Read - "Life as a Foster Child - Facts and Stories"

Read "My Personal Story of Sexual Abuse in My Family.. Introduction - How Different Would My Life have Been Had We Been Turned Over to CPS??

Read "My Personal Story of Sexual Abuse in My Family - Part 1 - The Nightmares of a Child - The Knife"

Read "My Personal Story of Sexual Abuse in My Family - Part 11 - The Nightmares of a Child - Inside the Kaleidoscope"

Read - My Personal Story of Sexual Abuse in My Family - Part 111 - Under The Tree House

Read - My Personal Story of Sexual Abuse in My Family - Part IV - What Happened to the Abusers?

Read - My Personal Story of Sexual Abuse in My Family -The Conclusion

If you would like to read some of the previous stories of "My Life as a Detention Officer," You will find the links listed on this post by @canadian-coconut:

CPS and Foster Care Abuses: -- INDEX of PUBLISHED STORIES now on the Steemit Blockchain

Please take the time to read, upvote and resteem the above post to show your 100% support for this cause. Also, please visit the blogs of these authors and consider doing the same. Most of these cases are still on-going and any financial support you can give them could make a difference in whether these family units can be saved!

What Is @familyprotection? What Are The Rules? How Do I Donate?

If you are concerned about where these funds are going, please take the time to read this post:

We are Family Protection, Keeping Families Safe, Together

@markwhittam grew up in the care of CPS and then many years later he and his family had to flee their country under threats from the state to take their child because they home schooled.

Linda, @canadian-coconut, started @familyprotection because she has helped several families who have been torn apart at the hands of the legal kidnappers aka. Child Protection Services.

It is up to us as a Community to uncover the truth and spread this truth worldwide!

If you or someone you know have children that are now wards of the state and/or government, we encourage you to share your story. If you are an underage youth caught up in this insane cycle of abuse and control..Please share your story..If you have friends in abusive situations..Please have them share their story. We here at steemit.com have caring people that that are willing to help you in anyway we can.

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Sadly many of our prisons do not encourage real rehabilitation of one's behavior. As a result there is a high rate of repeated offenses upon leaving the prison walls. With proper rehabilitation folks could reenter the world as a positive influence. No child should live their entire life in prison. Sad story and needless outcome. Thanks @thethreehugs.

Yes, this keeps the prisons systems full which in turn allows them to collect more government funding. a majority of the prisons are now run by private companies. I suspect a majority of these companies are owned by crooked government officials and/or the powers that are pushing Agenda 21.

your post is very important for present world.
I like this post. so i resteem this post.
please upvote and follow me.

Thanks my friend

Stories like this are so sad and shocking and sadly there are to many of them

Yes it is!

your blogs are really awesome. thanks for sharing.

Thanks