Youth sentenced to life without the possibility of parole in Massachusetts will grow up, grow old, and die in prison. It is an exceptionally harsh punishment - the harshest sentence available to anyone in Massachusetts - and may be imposed on youth as young as 14.
Xavier McElrath-Bey served 13 years for his involvement in a murder in Chicago. Xavier was given a second chance and is now a father, youth worker and is a contributing member of his community.
In Massachusetts, Xavier would have been tried in adult court and, upon conviction, sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
Dolphy was born addicted to heroin, abused as a child, and frequently moved between foster homes. He was convicted as a teenager of first degree murder. Unlike youth in Massachusetts with very similar stories, Dolphy was given a second chance.
Today, Dolphy works with high-risk youth, helping to ensure that they stay on productive and healthy path into adulthood, rather than a destructive path into prison. If he had been convicted in Massachusetts, Dolphy would have been sentenced to die in prison rather than having the chance to earn release and contribute to his community.