Pennsylvania Reckons with Its Draconian Laws on Life Imprisonment

March 20, 2024

...Lee remains determined not to die in prison. In 2016, the court assigned him an attorney to assist with his post-conviction appeal. In Pennsylvania, a person must file a notice for appeal within 30 days. That attorney filed nothing, leaving Lee barred from making any further appeals for the next five years. By 2020, when Lee successfully petitioned to reinstate his appeal rights, he had connected with attorneys from the Abolitionist Law Center, an organization that had already mounted several challenges to life without parole in the state. The center, along with the Amistad Law Project and the Center for Constitutional Rights, agreed to take on Lee’s appeal and, with it, mount another challenge to the state’s inclination for “death by incarceration.” ...

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March 20, 2024