North Carolina should abolish the sentence of juvenile life without parole and replace it with a more humane and cost-effective sentence that allows for a review after a reasonable period of time, according to a report released Feb. 11 by the JustScience Lab at Duke University. L. Neil Williams, Jr. Professor of Law Brandon L. Garrett co-authored the report with Ben Finholt, a staff attorney with North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, and Duke University graduate students Karima Modjadidi and Kristen Renberg. The report, Juvenile Life Without Parole in North Carolina, examines the cases of 94 people in North Carolina who were sentenced as juveniles to life without parole, most of them in the 1990s. Of the cases, 52 are currently serving life without parole sentences. The rest have been resentenced to non-life without parole sentences. On Monday, Garrett, a scholar of criminal justice outcomes, evidence, and constitutional rights, discussed the report’s recommendations at an event hosted by the Duke Criminal Law Society. He was joined by Finholt, David Andrews of the North Carolina Office of the Appellate Defender, and State Rep. Pricey Harrison. Durham County District Attorney Satana Deberry ’94 was in attendance.
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