: Imprisoned for life at 15, freed after 25 years and now in law school. Mercy for children who commit crimes benefits society and the economy.

by | Sep 19, 2022 | Stock Market

This fall, Marshan Allen will attend Chicago-Kent College of Law on a full scholarship. But unlike most incoming law students, Marshan’s path to a legal career began when he was sentenced as a teenager to life in prison. Allen was released after almost 25 years thanks to youth sentencing reforms, but upon his release he was met with a new set of challenges. With a homicide conviction on his record, he faced significant obstacles to housing and employment. With unrelenting perseverance and the support of family, friends, and an employer willing to take a chance on him at a critical juncture in his life, Allen is now a homeowner, husband, and on his way to becoming a public-interest attorney.

As leaders at a nonprofit organization focused on ending extreme sentences for children, we know that so many others could lead fulfilling and productive lives after prison if they’re given the opportunity to do so by those with the power to help.       Allen was just 15 years old when he was given a life without parole sentence, told that he would likely die in a cell for stealing a van that was used in a crime that resulted in the tragic death of another person. Such a punishment is unique to America. The United States is the only country in the world known to sentence children to life in pris …

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