Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Still A Kid - Rocky Editorial

JOHNSON _ The absolutely last thing I want to do is stick up for this 15-year-old knucklehead. What he allegedly did was horrendous.

Yet, after considering it a bit, I have concluded I must defend him for the lone reason so many people too quickly want to forget, the least among them being the Weld County district attorney:

He is a 15-year-old boy.

A kid.

To be sure, he is a kid who may have killed somebody's 9-year-old daughter, God rest her.

He reportedly stole the keys to his daddy's red Dodge truck and ran over her, stupidly fleeing the scene with the girl and her bicycle lodged for a while in the truck's undercarriage.

If you think about the senselessness of it too long, it will give you the shakes.

His name is Carlos Manzo, a line I absolutely hate typing because he is a child, but one I can now do so since the Weld County DA on Tuesday charged him as an adult in the death of Jasmine Hernandez.

She was riding her bicycle on East 25th Street Road in Greeley on Aug. 27, and her cousin, Ibeth Rodriguez, was on her scooter when the red Dodge roared up the street in reverse, knocking over Ibeth and badly injuring her before chewing up Jasmine.

Carlos Manzo, it is alleged, turned the truck's wheels and headed back up 25th, finally dislodging the fatally wounded girl. Witnesses took down the license plate number, and police officers quickly found the truck and the boy about six blocks away.

The DA on Tuesday charged him with a laundry list of crimes, the most serious being vehicular homicide, a mixture of charges that could land him in prison from 10 to 41 year.

Read The Rest at the ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS

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