When Kids Get Life | PBS America Trailer | RedCowHills

When Kids Get Life – premieres 9pm, Thursday 25 July
PBS America | Virgin Media 243 | Sky 166 | pbsamerica.co.uk

The United States is one of the only countries in the world that children under 18 to be sentenced to life without parole. Ofra Bikel travels to Colorado to profile five cases of juveniles who will remain in prison until they die. Human Rights Watch reports that over 2,200 inmates in America are serving life sentences without the option of parole for crimes committed as teenagers. Across the rest of the world, the total is 12.

In December 1992, 15-year-old Jacob Ind received a life sentence for the murders of his mother and stepfather. A similar fate befell Nathan Ybanez (pictured front) and Erik Jensen, high school students in a wealthy suburb of Denver. Nathan killed his mother and Erik was implicated in the crime by another friend involved in the cover-up. Trevor Jones (pictured left) was trying to scam $100 from a classmate, but the plan went awry when his gun discharged and killed Matt Foley. Andrew Medina was only 15 when he and two acquaintances attempted a carjacking, during which a gun was fired, killing the driver. In 2006, Colorado became the first state to pass a bill changing juvenile life without parole to 40 years before parole eligibility. The bill was not retrospective, however, and has come too late for 45 former juveniles now serving life sentences, including Jacob, Erik, Nathan, Trevor and Andy.

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