Please bear with us while this website is being renovated.  Check back often to see the progress.  You may encounter issues with access to pages and links until we are finished. 

You can still find victim memorials by searching the state or victims name by clinking on the search button in the header above.

We are the families and loved ones of murder victims killed by teen offenders. The stories of some of our murdered loved ones can be found on our “Memorials” pages, the heart and soul of this website and organization.

We exist to support and inform each other. Our organization takes no stand on what sentences for these offenders should be: cases and victims’ views vary widely, and these decisions are made by the criminal justice system that our society has collectively created. We exist to support the rights of all victim family members to be heard and participate fully as they choose in the criminal justice system. Read more About Us and What We Believe.. 

VICTIM/FAMILY MEMBER NEWS

NEWS ON NATIONAL DEBATE OVER SENTENCING OF TEEN KILLERS

.PHOTO: Jody Robinson, NOVJL Michigan

  • The Debate That Agonizes Victims Families: whether or not the Miller v Alabama Supreme Court ruling should be applied retroactively or not rages on, with victims families traumatized by all the uncertainty and re-opening of wounds.  Our tally to date at the end of 2013: Against retroactivity (and for victims) stand Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Alabama, and Louisiana. For retroactivity (and for offenders) stands Massachusetts, Iowa, and Mississippi. Many states’ Supreme Courts have not yet heard relevant cases or ruled yet, so more are expected in 2014. Legal experts predict that the issue of retraoactivity will end up back in the U.S. Supreme Court in the next few years.
  • Massachusetts Supreme Court votes to traumatize victims families by re-opening their loved ones’ murder sentences. A leading newspaper calls for victims families to be treated better.
  • Reporter outraged over Psychologist’s argument that a rich kid cannot be held accountable for people he killed because he had “affluenza” – parents who spoiled him.
  • Lousiana‘s Supreme Court joins the growing list of state Supreme Courts to find that Miller is NOT retroactive, and that long finalized cases of teen killers sentenced to life are not eligible for re-sentencing.
  • Alabama’s Supreme Court joins other state courts and lawmakers in finding that the Supreme Court’s ruling last summer for optional sentences only for teens that kill is NOT retroactive.
  • Pennsylvania‘s Supreme Court rules against retroactive application of the Miller Supreme Court decision while the Legislature votes to preserve Life Without Parole sentences as an option going forward. And, as elsewhere nationally, offender advocates’ claims about offender numbers are exaggerated.
  • Victims’ families in California approve as the 9th Circuit rules in support of the discretionary life sentences in place for teen killers.
  • Nebraska‘s new law for sentencing of teen killers is supported by many victims families and legal experts.
  • Iowa‘s Supreme Court orders re-sentencing for teen killers, re-traumatizing victims’ families
  • South Dakota - a lone Court rules on one offender’s case.
  • Connecticut legislation to free teen killers defeated
  • The Texas Senate Affirms Appropriate Prison Sentences
    Texas‘ legislature passes a bill in special session to comply with Supreme Court regulations on sentencing of juveniles who commit capitol crimes.  
  • Legislation defeated in Illinois
    Illinois Legislators supported concerns of victims and law enforcement in defeating retroactive Miller v Alabama compliance legislation. See our fact sheet. The Illinois Supreme Court is one of several states still pending on the issue of retroactivity - oral arguments were heard 1-15-14. Decision could be many weeks or months later.
  • New Hampshire case is reflecting national trends in offender re-sentencing after Miller ruling
  • Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy dissects legal problems in Supreme Court’s decisions in Juvenile Killer Sentencing
  • Montana abolishes life sentences for teen killers

Police Officer Larry Elwood Lasater, Jr. | Pittsburg Police Department, California
Photo: Officer Larry Lasater of Pittsburgh, California, Killed in the Line of Duty by a Teenager Sentenced to Life   

OFFENDER NEWS 

Photo: NOVJL murder victim family members of those killed by teens from all over the nation at the United States Supreme Court during the argument of a case that could free their loved ones’ murderers.

NOVJL For Victims Rights and Sound Public Policy Regarding Teens Who Kill

NOVJL exists to support and inform victims families and friends of those killed by offenders under age 18. Given the significant advocacy effort that exists for those offenders that gives no information or support to the victims families of these crimes, we found it necessary to organize ourselves. NOVJL is devoted to victims rights and sound public policy regarding teens who kill.

How these offenders are sentenced is the subject of a significant public policy debate currently in which our main concern is that victims’ voices are heard. We are concerned also with the significant financial resources devoted to helping these offenders, while virtually no help, information, or support of any kind is being offered to victims’ families who have been horrifically traumatized by brutal murders of their loved ones. We are heartbroken each time we hear of victims families who had no idea there was an effort underway to free their loved ones’ murderers (until after it was too late to be heard in the process!)

This website tells the true stories of those murdered by teens – truth that is especially important in the face of the willingness of juvenile advocates to minimize and even misrepresent the facts of these horrible crimes in their attempts to paint a picture of reduced culpability by the killers. We know there is much to discuss in public policy regarding teens who kill, but good decisions can only be made when the full facts are known. We know that in every crime some offenders are more or less culpable depending on the individual facts and circumstances. But LIGHT is a great “disinfectant”. Blurring the facts of these crimes does not improve the public policy discussion.

We advocate for the constitutional and statutory rights of crime victims that exist in all 50 states and federally. We advocate for best possible policies to prevent such tragedies from ever happening again.

We understand the controversy around the issue of teens who kill and the destruction left in the aftermath of those crimes - we have lived it. We understand the powerful feelings that the youthful age of these offenders creates. We understand the problems in our criminal justice system, as with any human institution.  We often do not understand, however, the incredible focus on helping these offenders with no compassion for or attention to the victims they created. The behavior of juvenile justice reform advocates towards the victims families of these crimes during their national policy change push of the last few years has been poor, to say the least. These offenders have committed some of the most horrific murders imagineable. We miss our loved ones horribly.

Help Find and Support Victims Families

There are thousands of murder victims’ family members in this nation who are not aware that there is a movement that supports and advocates for teen killers that seeks to change the terms of their incarceration, and often without any notice to victims families.  If you are aware of any victims families of juvenile killers please invite them to contact us. 

You can also reach this website at www.jlwopvictims.org and www.juvenilekillers.org.                                                                                                                                          

“Victims don’t want vengeance, they want healing: but there is no healing until justice is done.  And justice is never ‘done’ as long as the sentence can be undone.”  ~NOVJL member
“Those under 18 years old may as a general matter have diminished culpability relative to adults who commit the same crimes, but that DOES NOT mean their culpability is always insufficient to justify a life sentence.”
~Chief Justice John Roberts, Concurring Opinion, Graham v. Florida, 2010
“Daniels and several members of his family begged officials to lock up Markus Evans for an extended time . . . [but after Evans only served 14 months in juvenile custody for shooting and almost murdering Daniels, his 7th violent felony by age 15] Evans was released at age 17 with no supervision . . . Evans reported to police he was so angry that he robbed a liquor store and shot the clerk . . .17 year old Jonoshia Alexander . . .was found dead in the alley, shot in the back of her head.”
~Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 29, 2011