Teenagers Like Cyntoia Brown Should Never Be Locked Up For Life

Angelina Chapin, HuffPost •

Sentencing children to die in prison runs counter to the research about child and teenage brains. Marsha Levick, chief legal counsel and co-founder of the Juvenile Law Center, says minors are more likely to take risks, make bad decisions and cave to peer pressure because their brains have not yet fully developed. As a result, they have the ability to change and are much less likely to reoffend as adults if properly rehabilitated.

“Kids are less blameworthy and less culpable for their criminal conduct because of this developmental immaturity,” Levick said. “[Yet] we are condemning them to die in prison.”

About the Expert

Marsha Levick co-founded Juvenile Law Center in 1975. Throughout her legal career, Levick has been an advocate for children’s and women's rights and is a nationally recognized expert in juvenile law.