Documentary Play to be Performed at Rutgers Examines Issue of Minors Sentenced to Life in Prison
Newark, NJ— A thought-provoking documentary play that examines the lives of minors sentenced to life behind bars will be performed at Rutgers University-Newark at the Center for Law and Justice at 123 Washington Street on Wednesday, April 10 at 6 p.m.
The play, Life, Death, Life Again: Children Sentenced to Die in Prison, was written by Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg. Based on actual interviews, it features true stories of men who were sentenced to life in prison for crimes they committed as teenagers.
After the performance, there will be a panel discussion of the themes raised in the play – including forgiveness and how to create a more humane justice system. Participants include: Huwe Burton, who recently was exonerated after being wrongfully convicted and sentenced a term of life imprisonment when he was 16 years old; Tyler Dougherty '18, a Maida Fellow with the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender who represents clients sentenced as juveniles to life without parole terms; Weill-Greenberg, the playwright; Prof. Paul Boxer, Director of the Rutgers Center on Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice; Dennis Porter, Founder and President of Prodigal Son’s & Daughter’s Prison Re-entry and Redirection Services, and Rutgers Law Professor Laura Cohen, Director of the Criminal and Youth Justice Clinic and co-director of the Center on Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice.
Rutgers Law School Co-Dean David Lopez will give opening remarks.
"We are thrilled to bring this important work to Rutgers Law School. In its insistence on giving voice not only to young people sentenced to life without parole but their families, victims, and advocates, it compels a multi-dimensional conversation about youth crime, sentencing, and redemption,” said Cohen. “We invite all members of the Rutgers and Newark communities to experience this moving piece of theater and join in the conversation."
"It is so important to ensure that juvenile and criminal justice reform efforts include a detailed and nuanced understanding of the lived experiences of individuals who have been negatively impacted by the system. Thus I am very pleased that we are able to put on this play right in the heart of our training grounds for the next generation of justice professionals," said Boxer.
The play is produced by coLAB Arts and is being brought to Rutgers by the Rutgers Criminal Youth and Justice Clinic at Rutgers Law School and by the Rutgers Center on Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice. Co-sponsors include the Association of Latin American Law Students, Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, Race and the Law Review, Minority Law Students Association and Social Equity Committee.
The event, which will be held in the Baker Courtroom, is free to attend, but guests are asked to pre-register through this link.