|At the ages of 17 and 16 Erik Jensen and Nathan were tried as adults for Murder 1. Erik was sentenced to life in prison based on false testimony Nathan was convicted and sentenced to life without parole because of bad lawyering. They have now served 13 years behind bars.
The U.S. is the only country of the U.N. that sentences juveniles to life in prison without parole. Most public defenders are appointed and most prosecutors/ district attorneys run for office. To get votes they must get as many convictions as possible. Getting votes often becomes more important than justice.
What makes Erik's case more compelling is the fact that he should never had been tried. The evidence came from questionable witnesses and evidence, legal representation was lacking, and the trial was procedurally grossly flawed.
This is the story of Erik Jensen and Nathan Ybanez, the story of juveniles discarded by our justice system.
By Darrell Griffin (Summer 2013), author of "Last Journey."