Juvenile Justice Accountability and Improvement Act of 2009, Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Eleventh Congress, First Session on H.R. 2289, June 9, 2009 [open pdf - 7MB]
From the opening statement of Robert C. "Bobby" Scott: "The United States is the only country on Earth that sentences children to die in prison. While other countries have abolished this practice, we continue to impose this sentence at alarming rates, and in 14 States children as young as 8 years old can be sentenced to life without parole. Currently, the United States has over 2,500 people in prison serving life sentences without parole for crimes they committed as children. For the majority of these juveniles, it was their first offense. [...] In the bill before us, we are not seeking to prohibit the incarceration of juveniles from life sentences or mandating their release. The bill simply provides that, for a juvenile sentence to life or the equivalent, a meaningful opportunity for a review and possible parole must take place. Only after serving 15 years of incarceration and then only at intervals of 3 years thereafter will juveniles be allowed a chance to show that they are worthy of parole." This hearing also discusses issues with gang violence, and the scientific differences between juvenile offenders, and adult offenders. Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Robert C. "Bobby" Scott, Louie Gohmert, Mark William Osler, Linda L. White, Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins, Anita D. Colon, James P. Fox, Marc Mauer, and H.R. 2289, the "Juvenile Justice Accountability and Improvement Act of 2009."
Serial No. 111-47
Government Printing Office, Congressional Hearings: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/chearings/index.html