Panel Discussion: Privatization v. Public Good and the Upcoming March for Our Lives on March 24

SPECIAL REPORT: Organized Labor: Resurgent or On the Ropes?

SPECIAL REPORT: Neoliberalism Comes Home: Connecticut's Water Under Privatization Threat

SPECIAL REPORT: Can There Be Food Justice Under Capitalism?

SPECIAL REPORT: Resistance Round Table – Feb. 10, 2018

Award-winning Investigative Journalist Robert Parry (1949-2018)

Award-winning investigative journalist and founder/editor of, Robert Parry has passed away. His ground-breaking work uncovering Reagan-era dirty wars in Central America and many other illegal and immoral policies conducted by successive administrations and U.S. intelligence agencies, stands as an inspiration to all in journalists working in the public interest.

Robert had been a regular guest on our Between The Lines and Counterpoint radio shows -- and many other progressive outlets across the U.S. over four decades.

His penetrating analysis of U.S. foreign policy and international conflicts will be sorely missed, and not easily replaced. His son Nat Parry writes a tribute to his father: Robert Parry’s Legacy and the Future of Consortiumnews.

Thank you for donating

If you've made a donation and wish to receive thank you gifts for your donation, be sure to send us your mailing address via our Contact form.

See our thank you gifts for your donation.

The Resistance Starts Now!

Between The Lines' coverage and resource compilation of the Resistance Movement

SPECIAL REPORT: "The Resistance - Women's March 2018 - Hartford, Connecticut" Jan. 20, 2018

Selected speeches from the Women's March in Hartford, Connecticut 2018, recorded and produced by Scott Harris

SPECIAL REPORT: "No Fracking Waste in CT!" Jan. 14, 2018

SPECIAL REPORT: "Resistance Round Table: The Unraveling Continues..." Jan. 13, 2018

SPECIAL REPORT: "Capitalism to the ash heap?" Richard Wolff, Jan. 2, 2018

SPECIAL REPORT: Maryn McKenna, author of "Big Chicken", Dec. 7, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Nina Turner's address, Working Families Party Awards Banquet, Dec. 14, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Mic Check, Dec. 12, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Resistance Roundtable, Dec. 9, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: On Tyranny - one year later, Nov. 28, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Mic Check, Nov. 12, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Resistance Roundtable, Nov. 11, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Rainy Day Radio, Nov. 7, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Rainy Day Radio, Nov. 7, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Resisting U.S. JeJu Island military base in South Korea, Oct. 24, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: John Allen, Out in New Haven

2017 Gandhi Peace Awards

Promoting Enduring Peace presented its Gandhi Peace Award jointly to renowned consumer advocate Ralph Nader and BDS founder Omar Barghouti on April 23, 2017.

Subscribe to our Weekly Summary & receive our FREE Resist Trump window cling

resist (Car window cling)

Email us with your mailing address at to receive our "Resist Trump/Resist Hate" car window cling!


who helped make our 25th anniversary with Jeremy Scahill a success!

For those who missed the event, or were there and really wanted to fully absorb its import, here it is in video

Jeremy Scahill keynote speech, part 1 from PROUDEYEMEDIA on Vimeo.

Jeremy Scahill keynote speech, part 2 from PROUDEYEMEDIA on Vimeo.

Between The Lines on Stitcher


Between The Lines Presentation at the Left Forum 2016

"How Do We Build A Mass Movement to Reverse Runaway Inequality?" with Les Leopold, author of "Runaway Inequality: An Activist's Guide to Economic Justice,"May 22, 2016, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York, 860 11th Ave. (Between 58th and 59th), New York City. Between The Lines' Scott Harris and Richard Hill moderated this workshop. Listen to the audio/slideshows and more from this workshop.

Listen to audio of the plenary sessions from the weekend.

JEREMY SCAHILL: Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker "Dirty Wars"

Listen to the full interview (30:33) with Jeremy Scahill, an award-winning investigative journalist with the Nation Magazine, correspondent for Democracy Now! and author of the bestselling book, "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army," about America's outsourcing of its military. In an exclusive interview with Counterpoint's Scott Harris on Sept. 16, 2013, Scahill talks about his latest book, "Dirty Wars, The World is a Battlefield," also made into a documentary film under the same title, and was nominated Dec. 5, 2013 for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary Feature category.

Listen to Scott Harris Live on WPKN Radio

Between The Lines' Executive Producer Scott Harris hosts a live, weekly talk show, Counterpoint, from which some of Between The Lines' interviews are excerpted. Listen every Monday evening from 8 to 10 p.m. EDT at (Follows the 5-7 minute White Rose Calendar.)

Counterpoint in its entirety is archived after midnight ET Monday nights, and is available for at least a year following broadcast in WPKN Radio's Archives.

You can also listen to full unedited interview segments from Counterpoint, which are generally available some time the day following broadcast.

Subscribe to Counterpoint bulletins via our subscriptions page.

Between The Lines Blog  BTL Blog

"The Rogue World Order: Connecting the Dots Between Trump, Flynn, Bannon, Spencer, Dugin Putin," by Anna Manzo (GlobalHealing), Daily Kos, Feb. 13, 2017

"Widespread Resistance Begins to Trump's Muslim Travel Ban at U.S. Airports," by Anna Manzo (GlobalHealing), Daily Kos, Jan. 28, 2017

"MSNBC Editor: Women's March is a Revival of the Progressive Movement," by Anna Manzo (GlobalHealing), Daily Kos, Jan. 24, 2017

"Cornering Trump," by Reginald Johnson, Jan. 19, 2017

"Free Leonard Peltier," by Reginald Johnson, Jan. 6, 2016

"For Natives, a "Day of Mourning"by Reginald Johnson, November 23, 2016

"A Bitter Harvest" by Reginald Johnson, Nov. 15, 2016

Special Programming Special Programming

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Between The Lines Progressive Resources

A compilation of activist and news sites with a progressive point of view

Share this content:


Podcasts Subscribe to BTL

Podcasts:  direct  or  via iTunes

Subscribe to Program Summaries, Interview Transcripts or Counterpoint via email or RSS feed

If you have other questions regarding subscriptions, feeds or podcasts/mp3s go to our Audio Help page.

Between The Lines Blog

Stay connected to BTL

RSS feed  twitter  facebook

donate  Learn how to support our efforts!

Connecticut Bill Offers Juvenile Offenders Opportunity to Reduce Long Prison Sentences

MP3  MP3

Posted Feb. 5, 2014

Interview with Alexandra Harrington, a third-year law student at Yale, and Leslie Aponte, the mother of a youthful offender, conducted by Melinda Tuhus


When the Connecticut legislature convenes this week, a bill will be introduced to provide a "second look" at lengthy prison sentences imposed on those who were juveniles when they committed crimes. A joint study by the law clinics at Quinnipiac and Yale universities revealed significant racial disparities. The study found that among 275 male inmates, 60 percent of those serving more than ten years are African American, 69 percent of those serving 50 years or more are African American and 100 percent of those serving life without parole sentences – 4 individuals – are also African American. The report reiterates what is now understood in the scientific community – that human brains are not fully developed until the mid-20s, making juvenile offenders less culpable for their actions, and also more capable of rehabilitation.

The proposed legislation is not a "get out of jail free" card, but rather would provide inmates serving long sentences an opportunity to apply for a sentence reduction based on individual evaluations. The bill was endorsed unanimously by the Connecticut Sentencing Commission, whose members include a judge, a victim's advocate and a prosecutor, among other experts.

Between The Lines’ Melinda Tuhus spoke about the proposed measure with Alexandra Harrington, a Yale law student who conducted research on Connecticut juvenile offenders.

ALEXANDRA HARRINGTON: So, our clinic for two years has been working on this issue, and it started with a report where we analyzed Connecticut's practice of sentencing teenagers, really, in adult court to these lengthy sentences. It grew into a project where we talked to several individuals for crimes committed as children, and it also involved some talking to the legislature and testimony before the Judiciary Committee. So there are two parts to the proposal: the first part says that life without parole can no longer be a mandatory sentence in Connecticut. And that's pretty fundamental. The Supreme Court has said that mandatory life without parole sentences for teenagers are unconstitutional, so that has to be changed.

It also says that when judges are sentencing these teeenageers in adult court, they have to take into account factors like their age, their maturity, their capacity for change – that those have to be a part of the sentencing consideration. And the second part provides for what's called a Second Look review, basically a parole-like proceeding for people who have sentences of more than 10 years for crimes committed as children. It would provide for a parole review at 60 percent of the sentence or 12 years, whichever is longer. Anyone who has a sentence of more than 50 years would get this parole review after 30 years. Currently, most of these people either have no chance of parole or they only have a chance after serving 85 percent of their sentence.

BETWEEN THE LINES: So, you're referring to them as children, which I guess, technically, they are. A lot of these young people are like 17 when they commit the crime ...


BETWEEN THE LINES: Yeah, one was 14. But I'm imagining that a 16- or 17-year-old teenager who's involved in some kind of violent crime would not be considered by the victims of that crime or society in general as "children." So how do you address that, how do you convince people that they are children and their brains have not fully developed, and all that?

ALEXANDRA HARRINGTON: Sure, like you just suggested, there's a lot of recent brain science that suggests people's brains don't fully develop until the age of 26. Obviously in the popular conception, if we see someone who's 16, we think they know right from wrong, and the purpose of these bills is not to diminish the seriousness of their crime, but rather to express trough the legislature the reality that people can change, and that when you're 16 years old, your character is not formed; you still have the capacity for rehabilitation. And part of what has been written into these proposals is the opportunity for the victims to speak before the parole board when these people are eligible for parole. And I guess the final thing I would emphasize is that this proposal does not give everyone a blanket opportunity for release; it just gives them a chance – a chance to show that they've changed and that they can contribute and be successful members of society.

BETWEEN THE LINES: If it goes through the courts, we kind of end up with this murky system where people are going back for resentencing hearings where there's not a systematic way, for example, for victims to be notified, or there's not a systematic way for judges to know, "what am I supposed to be considering when I'm resentencing these people." Without the legislation telling the courts what's supposed to happen, it kind of becomes a mess as to what the next steps are. And there've actually been some cases that have gone back for resentencing, and a lot of the judges have expressed reluctance to act on these cases until the legislature acts.

Leslie Aponte, the mother of a youth convicted of felony murder that took place when he was 17. Her son, Nicolas, works in the prison hospice.

LESLIE APONTE: He's never allowed the walls of the prison to consume him, so he's always looked beyond the walls with hope that he'd come home one day. He's continued to educate himself. He's gone through a lot – a lot of depression, a lot of things in prison, of course. But he's always...he's been my supporter, in all honesty, through all this. He loves his job. You can work anywhere – you can work in the gym, you can work in kitchen. He loves doing what he's doing. He feels like that's his calling. He's met a lot of wonderful people, you know, prisoners. Let them die with dignity. He always tells them, I'm here because I care. Sometimes that's the last face they see, is my son's.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Do you understand the legislation? Tell me what you know about it or why you support it.

LESLIE APONTE: I support it because of all the studies that were done, we obviously know that the brain is not fully developed at a young age, and this bill would give my son the opportunity to come home sooner than the 38-year sentence. Even if it's about 60 percent of his sentence, he's certainly done that. So I just believe he's one of the ones that I would love for them to consider.

Find the report, "Youth Matters: A Second Look for Connecticut's Children Serving Long Prison Sentences here.

Related Links: