Still Blocking the Exit
Today, the Maryland Restorative Justice Initiative (MRJI) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maryland released a new report, "Still Blocking the Exit," which tells the stories of many individuals given parole-eligible life sentences who have been denied release despite being recommended for it. The report was presented at a press conference in Annapolis, where advocates were joined by legislators sponsoring a bill to depoliticize the parole process for lifers. Also on hand were individuals released under the decision in Unger v. State of Maryland, which held that flawed jury instructions given by judges prior to 1980 denied defendants the right to a fair trial. Many of the individuals recently released - who often had parole-eligible life sentences - were sentenced as juveniles and are now successfully reintegrating into their communities.