RIGHT TO REDEMPTION

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After 'powerful' hearing 3 decades later, juvenile lifer Songster eligible for parole


by Amy S. Rosenberg, Updated: JULY 24, 2017 — 7:06 PM EDT

“'I’m so deeply sorry,' Songster said. “I’m deeply ashamed of the things that I’ve done. The last thing I want is for Anjo Pryce to be forgotten. If I could be your brother, if you’ll have me, I could be your brother.'


"To a sobbing Errol Pryce, Songster said: 'For 30 years, I’ve always dreamed of this moment, wondering whether my voice would be the last voice you want to hear, or the first voice you think of. I always dreamed about meeting you, how to approach, head up or head down, extend my hand or just run. I wonder if I have the right to speak his name, considering the role I’ve played.'


"In that moment, though, Songster just spoke directly to Pryce, who avoided the gaze of his son’s killer only at first. Songster said the progress he had made in prison — where he has earned a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University, organized workshops for fathers in prison, and networked far and wide with advocates for juvenile lifers — was intended to somehow redeem himself in the eyes of his family and Pryce’s. He has been offered a job as a personal trainer at a Spring Garden gym..."


Read the whole article at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/kempis-songster-juvenile-lifer-jlwop-anjo-pryce-20170724.html

"At the Community Resentencing, participants separated into four discussion groups led by recently released juvenile lifers. Attendees decried a criminal justice system that they said was focused on retribution and not rehabilitation. They proposed that Songster be released and required to mentor young people, perform community service, and be available to serve the family members of crime victims.

“'They should pay it forward,' behavioral health specialist Iresha Picot said of the juvenile lifers who are released. 'I feel like a lot of times we forget about the families that are affected. They should make peace with them,' said Picot, 33, of Southwest Philadelphia.'"


Read the whole article at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/pennsylvania/philadelphia/supporters-of-juvenile-lifer-gather-for-a-community-resentencing-20170724.html

Supporters of juvenile lifer gather for a 'community resentencing'


by Kristin E. Homes, Updated: JULY 23, 2017 — 9:32 PM EDT