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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Getting Life Without Parole, At 17

Joe Donovan, age 37, has been behind bars since he was sentenced to life without parole at age 17. (Deb Becker/Here & Now)

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule next month on whether to ban life without parole for minors convicted of murder.

The cases center on two 14-year-olds — one in Alabama, the other in Arkansas.

The decision could have a ripple effect across the country, affecting more than 2,000 prisoners, if the Supreme Court decides to ban life without parole for all juvenile offenders.

One of those prisoners is 37-year-old Joe Donovan of Massachusetts, who has been behind bars for 20 years.


  • Joe Donovan

This segment was produced by Deb Becker.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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