These are the first of 517 juvenile lifers in Pennsylvania, the largest such contingent in the nation, to be resentenced and released on parole following a Supreme Court decision that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for minors are unconstitutional. – Samantha Melamed, Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News
• The crowd at ‘Women Unshackled’ heard from Sens. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris about problems and solutions
• Victim’s family attends alternative justice event
• Prisoner worked to redeem himself in eyes of victim’s family
• You can still catch “Rethinking Reentry Through Art” at Philadelphia City Hall
Read it now: The Reentry Project Weekly: July 28, 2017
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To see the juvenile lifer Kempis Songster, a man of 45, graying at the beard, seeking the mercy of a judge Monday at his resentencing for a crime committed decades ago drove home the pain of what the victim’s father lost the day two teenage runaways killed his son in a fortified crack house in Southwest Philadelphia.
On the eve of a hearing that will determine whether Kempis “Ghani” Songster will be freed after serving nearly 30 years for murder, supporters gathered to consider an alternate view of justice and accountability. – Kristin E. Holmes, Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News
Proceeds from Thursday’s show at Boot & Saddle with go toward the music nonprofit Beyond the Bars. Local rapper Chill Moody will headline a benefit show tomorrow night at the South Philly venue Boot & Saddle. Proceeds from the concert will go toward Beyond the Bars, a nonprofit that aims to increase music education resources for incarcerated juveniles in Philadelphia.
Juvenile lifers are getting a chance at release under a Supreme Court decision that their sentences were illegal. Now, appeals by 18-, 19- and 20-year-old lifers who say they, too, should get relief have begun to reach the state’s highest court.