Watch Kids Behind Bars: Life or Parole

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This documentary series follows eight inmates who were convicted of crimes as children and given mandatory life sentences. Following a Supreme Court ruling that found their sentences unconstitutional, the inmates turn to the legal system for re-sentencing. The series uses interviews with both the offenders and experts.

Tuesday at 10:00 PM on A&E
1 Season, 9 Episodes
April 30, 2019
Crime, Documentary & Biography, Reality
Cast: Max Wachtel
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Kids Behind Bars: Life or Parole Full Episode Guide

  • Final rulings are issued for convicted murderers Otis Daniels, Ronald Bell and Kristel Maestas; Otis? attorney works to strike a deal to make him eligible for parole; Kristel has a resentencing hearing while her victim's family testifies against her.

  • On February 2, 1999, 17-year-old Ronald and two other teens seek to retaliate against Cordell for an alleged sexual assault, ultimately burning him alive in the woods of Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Ronald, with the aid of his 16-year-old girlfriend Kristel, brutally tortured and murdered Cordell and both were sentenced to life without parole. Ronald is now 36 years old and has been granted a resentencing hearing.

  • On March 31, 1998 in Albany, Georgia, 16-year-old Otis broke into Valerie's home and allegedly tried to rob her. During the attempt, Valerie and her 16-year-old daughter, Valene, were shot. Valerie died weeks later and although her daughter Valene miraculously survived, she was left disfigured. Otis was sentenced to life without parole. Otis has been granted a re-sentencing hearing, and hopes he can someday be released.

  • James' legal team argue that his sentence when he was 15 years old is unconstitutional.

  • On August 21, 2001, a group of teens, including 15-year-old Brandon, kidnapped and raped Melissa, a 21-year-old college student in Youngstown, Ohio. Brandon was tried as an adult and sentenced to 141 years in prison without parole. Seventeen years later the Ohio Supreme Court agreed that Brandon's sentence is the equivalent of life without parole and therefore unconstitutional. He has been granted the opportunity for a new sentence.

  • On March 7, 1992, 15-year-old Bobby shot girlfriend Krissi's mother and father as they slept in their home in Frisco, Texas. Roz was killed, but her husband Buz survived. Bobby was sentenced to life despite claims he was manipulated into committing the murder. He now hopes to appeal his sentence.

  • On March 4, 2010, 17-year-old Preston was one of three teens involved in a murder during an attempted robbery in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. Along with the other teens, Preston was sentenced to life without parole. Now at the age of 25, he has been granted a resentencing hearing.

  • In 1995, Curtis was involved in a car theft that resulted in a death. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole. After 23 years in jail, Curtis has been granted a resentencing and could soon be released.

  • On January 31, 2011, 14-year-old Aaron shot his neighbor, 14-year-old Alana, in her home in Harlem, Georgia. Aaron was sentenced to life without parole at 15, but now 21-year-old Aaron is appealing his sentence.

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