Colorado Father Sees Hope For Son Sentenced To Life As Teen

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Erik Jensen
Erik Jensen, in his 30's now, was sentenced to life without parole when he was 17 for his part in a murder.

In the 1990s, Colorado --and the nation -- began toughening penalties for juvenile offenders. Now, the pendulum appears to be swinging the other way. Last Monday, President Obama banned solitary confinement for juveniles in federal custody. That same day, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling that means 48 Colorado inmates and hundreds of others across the country are eligible to have their sentences reviewed.

As a teenager, Erik Jensen was convicted for his part in a 1998 murder. He's housed at the Limon Correctional Facility in eastern Colorado. His father, Curt Jensen, said he hopes the ruling will give his son and others a second chance. The older Jensen founded the Colorado-based Pendulum Foundation, which advocates on behalf of juveniles in adult prisons.

Curt Jensen told his son's story on Colorado Matters.