Juvenile Life Sentences Examined in Documentary

By Mark Walsh — August 04, 2014 1 min read
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In Education and the Media, my other blog for Education Week, I review interesting documentaries about schools and youth issues, among other things. Today I have a review of “15 to Life: Kenneth’s Story,” a documentary that is part of the “POV” series on PBS.

The film is a look at one Florida prisoner sentenced to four life-without-parole sentences for armed robberies committed while he was 14 and 15. In its 2010 decision in Graham v. Florida, the U.S. Supreme Court held such life-without-parole sentences for non-homicide juvenile offenses to be a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s bar on cruel and unusual punishments.

The documentary examines the resentencing of Kenneth Young, with some dramatic testimony from Young’s hearing.

The film is on the PBS national schedule at 10 p.m. Eastern time on Monday (Aug. 4). Viewers should check local listings, because POV documentaries are often put in other time slots by local PBS stations.

A version of this news article first appeared in The School Law Blog.