I started the day today with a long conversation with a fellow advocate who has passed through long periods of discouragement in our mission of seeking justice for youth. After twenty faithful years, she is organizing her orderly exit from the arena.
Part of her frustration stems from the fact that we are fighting a many-headed beast. Two years after the Supreme Court’s ruling against the practice of sentencing kids to automatic life-without-parole, multiple state legislatures and governors are still figuring out ways to get around the ruling. For anyone who deals with the inmates who are affected by their actions, as is she, this is a particularly difficult time.
We agreed that one thing which separates her experience from mine is that she is dealing with an undifferentiated population of inmates judged guilty of all manner of violent crimes, whereas I restrict my practice exclusively to the “purity” of parricides. Not only are most parricidal acts easier to justify because of the severe abuse usually involved, but so few parricides ever go on to commit crimes of any kind. Our position is that parricides are not common criminals but survivors. The System may lump parricides together with common criminals and treat them the same, but they are different.
Indeed, with some justification I see parricides as having a higher potential than others who may be involved with the System, and it is this higher potential which sustains my efforts.
Groove of the Day