Juvenile Lifers: Films for an Audience of One

  • Juvenile Lifers
    State Appellate Defender’s Office of Michigan | 2017-2021 | Multiple shorts | Director + D.P. + Editor

    In 2012, the US Supreme Court found that to sentence juveniles to life in prison without the possibility of parole is considered cruel and unusual punishment. As a result, public appellate defenders across the country are now working with hundreds of these “juvenile lifers,” now in their 40s and 50s, to appeal their life sentences. During these re-sentencing hearings that will determine the release date of the incarcerated person, the victim’s family is permitted to speak. However, the family of the incarcerated person is not. These short documentaries bring together the voices of the incarcerated person’s families and broader support network, to delve into the circumstances of the original crime and offer a glimpse into the life of the returning citizen. They are submitted to the judge as evidence in lieu of testimonies.   

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