The Christian Science Monitor

For minors with life sentences, US sentencing reform brings hope for rehabilitation

When Marshan Allen was a teen in Chicago, he says he faced a tough choice: go to class or help his older brother. The issue: His brother was selling drugs, as were many people on the South Side of Chicago in the 1990s.

“I was surrounded by cocaine.... My mom, my uncle, the neighborhood,” he says. “My older brother James began selling drugs, and I was doing chores for him to make extra money.”

One day in March 1992 he stole a van. Two of his brother’s friends

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