After the Violence, the Rest of Their Lives, The New York Times
Xavier McElrath-Bey, 36, was convicted of murder at 13. Now he gathers data for a Northwestern University study.
There is the house at 51st and Throop where, at 11, he huddled near some steps to avoid a rival gang member’s gunfire; the sidewalk where he carved his gang nickname into the newly laid cement; the lot at 51st and Ada where Sam’s store once stood, its back yard a convenient hideaway for weapons. Nearby is the abandoned building where, in 1989, he crossed the line from being a troubled 13-year-old, in and out of a detention center, to a 13-year-old convicted of murder.
Undermining Vital Child Protections, The Hill
As parents who paid the ultimate price for unsafe products, we saw the passage of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in 2008 as an important legislative victory. It revitalized our hopes that other parents would not see their children suffer as our son did when the top rails of the Playskool Travel-Lite crib he slept in at his licensed childcare home in Chicago collapsed around his neck, strangling him. In the last four years juvenile product manufacturers have tried hard to undo the safety protection law. They might just succeed if a new law under consideration in the Senate is allowed to pass.
A newly passed law could lead to lighter sentences for juvenile killers in Lancaster County and across the state, local experts say.
Gov. Tom Corbett recently signed Senate Bill 850, making life behind bars no longer a mandatory sentence for juveniles convicted of first- or second-degree murder.
In fact, a juvenile convicted of second-degree murder, under the law, cannot be sentenced to life without parole.