The Crime Report

Aaron Johnson's Story as a Lifer in Alabama Prison Is Exhibit A in Why We Need to Change America's Prison Nightmare

Editor's Note: After three hung-jury mistrials, Aaron Lamont Johnson was convicted of murder and sentenced to life without parole for an Alabama crack-related homicide. Now 41, he has been locked up for 21 years. A paralegal, he fights for sentence relief. If he fails and survives to age 72, he could spend 50 years behind bars. As the country reconsiders mass incarceration, lifers like Johnson who were sentenced under highly politicized laws are neglected leftovers. AlterNet’s David J. Krajicek takes a look at a compelling question that arises from American justice: How much punishment is enough? This story was published in partnership with the Crime Report.

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