How Rolling Back Juvenile Life Without Parole Impacts the VI3
In Response to Josh Rovner’s Overview of Juvenile LWOP Rollbacks -
Josh Rovner of the Sentencing Project published a May 2021 ”Juvenile life without parole: An Overview,” outlining recent litigation to protect youth rights in the criminal legal system. The conclusion is that, “Sentences that close the door on rehabilitation and second chances are cruel and misguided.” While much of the litigation pertains to persons who were under age 18 at the time of offense, there is a growing attention to neuroscience on how the brain develops in those under 21 to expand these rollbacks to include people in that age range. This judicial reform is relevant to the case of the Virgin Island 3 because these men were ages 21-23 at the time of their arrest.
In response to this overview, Malik states:
Review of my case will show that I was 21 years of age, without any juvenile record or prior conviction when I was arrested. I was convicted and sentenced to the maximum penalty on the same day, to be imprisoned for eight life terms in a way contrary to the specific requirements of how consecutive sentences must be imposed. I believe my sentences were imposed contrary to the specific mandatory requirements of law. Title 5 V.I.C. s/5 3672 (a). Virgin Islands Bureau of Corrections parole officials are denying me a parole hearing over 49 years later based on a contested determination of Parole Eligibility Status. This determination was made without considering my behavior, my conduct, and my educational and vocational accomplishments during my time in prison.
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