November 4, 2009
Charles Butler just edited a 5-minute PSA for the Human Rights Watch Gala. It was a powerful piece about the work the HRW does to advocate for juvenile rights. One of the driving stories follows a girl named Sara K. who at the age of 16 was sentenced to Life without parole for killing a man who raped her at the age of 13. Focusing on the Juvenile Life without Parole (JLWOP) sentence, which in 39 states can sentence juvenile offenders to Life without the possibility of parole, the piece tells the story of why and how the HRW advocates for fair sentences for youth offenders. Scotty K. shot the interviews of Elizabeth Calvin, the Senior Advocate, Children’s Rights Division, Human Rights Watch; Tamar Chafets, Co-Chair, Los Angeles Network; and Chaplain Javier Stauring, Recipient of the 2003 Human Rights Watch Defender Award to try to explain why it is that the U.S. is the only country where is it legal to sentence a juvenile who cannot legally smoke, drive, or drink to a life and death in prison.