The different day, I noticed a stat that I can’t vouch for however appeared correct. It claimed that polls present that whenever you ask Americans if inmates must be allowed to pursue a level, a majority says no. But in the event you ask if inmates must be compelled to pursue a level a majority says sure. Which says so much about how Americans view the carceral system as a vector of senseless punishment.

Regardless of what anybody thinks about it, there are of us on the market attempting to deliver schooling to prisons and one program is about to attain a historic first.

Maureen Onyelobi is about to develop into the primary incarcerated legislation scholar at an ABA accredited legislation college this fall. The Mitchell Hamline School of Law could have Onyelobi taking on-line programs en path to a JD diploma, bringing new that means to the concept of a jailhouse lawyer.

Per Bring The News:

Onyelobi’s historic acceptance follows a path solid by The Prison to Law Pipeline, an extension of an present partnership between Mitchell Hamline and the felony justice reform nonprofit, All Square.

The pipeline’s first cohort of scholars options Onyelobi — the primary and solely juris doctorate scholar — and 5 paralegal college students.

On the one hand, Onyelobi’s life sentence with out chance of parole severely limits the worth of this diploma. On the opposite hand, the circumstances of her incarceration recommend that — in a saner world — she would sometime be launched.

Onyelobi’s conviction stems from a 2014 homicide the place she lured a person exterior and a enterprise affiliate of hers killed him. The gunman testifies that “he’d never told Onyelobi about his intention to shoot Fairbanks and had no reason to believe she knew of his plans,” however prosecutors used the felony homicide rule to convict her for all times with out parole.

The man who truly murdered the sufferer obtained a 40-year sentence and is eligible for parole.

There’s a sure chilly and mechanistic logic to the felony homicide rule. You don’t wish to incentivize of us to advance lethal felony plots and stroll away as a result of they handle to remain above the fray of the particular violence. Everyone volunteering to be a lookout is aware of they’re taking an even bigger danger after they signal on.

But assuming there’s ever a worth to holding somebody criminally accountable for one thing they didn’t truly do, the felony homicide rule retains developing in these egregious miscarriages of justice. It’s onerous to justify the maximalist method of the rule as is and there’s all the time hope that legislators will sometime get round to junking it altogether or on the very least changing it to a criminal offense with its personal, extra cheap sentence.

Meanwhile, Onyelobi continues to hunt a pardon whereas pushing ahead with legislation college.

Woman serving life in jail accepted to Mitchell Hamline legislation college [Bring Me The News]

HeadshotJoe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to e-mail any suggestions, questions, or feedback. Follow him on Twitter in the event you’re considering legislation, politics, and a wholesome dose of school sports activities information. Joe additionally serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.

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