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Prisoners and Detainees
California rightly revisits its tough-on-youth-crime stance
California rightly revisits its tough-on-youth-crime stance

California long led the world in juvenile injustice. Just five years ago, when there were only seven people outside the U.S. serving life prison terms with no possibility of parole for crimes they had committed before they became adults, California had more than 200. They were locked up with no hope for eventual release largely because of cruel and costly laws adopted in a frenzy of anti-crime sentiment in the 1980s and 1990s. Rising gang crime fueled fears that juveniles had somehow become inhuman and deranged — a belief likely bolstered by the fact that California voters were disproportionately older and white, while the youths being charged with violent crimes were...

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