Today, the US is the only country that allows juvenile life without parole sentences. Despite evidence that juveniles who commit crimes are unlikely to reoffend, some states like Missouri, still have many sitting behind bars and continue to give juvenile life without parole sentences.
Across the US, roughly 7300 people are serving life for crimes committed as children.
In 2019, after refusing to follow the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings and give juveniles serving life without parole sentences a meaningful and realistic opportunity at release, a federal court ordered the Missouri parole board to overhaul its parole review process for juvenile lifers.
Kevin Bradshaw received a mandatory life without parole sentence for a murder he committed shortly after his 17th birthday.
His life story is one of many demonstrating that most crimes committed by children, even very serious crimes, reflect “transient immaturity” of youth, and not “irreparable corruption.” Due to our class action, Kevin received a new parole hearing.
This September, Kevin was released from prison after 33 years and 11 months, and returned to live with his family in St. Louis.