Through the work of the Defender’s Bradley Bridge, Joe Ligon, the world’s oldest juvenile lifer is now free. His amazing story has caught national and worldwide attention, putting a big spotlight on the need to end over-incarceration.
Here’s just a sampling of the news coverage, beginning with the Philadelphia Inquirer:
-by Samantha Melamed-
He won release through a legal maneuver that has given hope to hundreds of other juvenile lifers all serving lifetime parole.
PHILADELPHIA - On a snow-flecked morning earlier this month, Joe Ligon stepped from his lawyer's car, his gait deliberate yet steady, his hair as white as cotton. A few hours before, he had eaten a breakfast of pancakes, two bowls of cereal, no milk, his final meal in prison.
Joe Ligon, believed to be the oldest and longest-serving juvenile lifer in the United States, has been released from a Pennsylvania prison after spending nearly seven decades behind bars.
New York Post:
Joe Ligon was just 15 when he joined a pack of drunk teenagers on a robbery and assault spree that left two people dead and six others stabbed. Illiterate and poor, Ligon pled guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, though he long claimed he didn't take part in the murders.
Joseph Ligon, 83, was freed from eastern Pennsylvania prison on Thursday In 1953, he was sentenced to life in prison at the age of 15 Ligon and other teens got drunk and went on assault spree in Philadelphia Two people were killed; Ligon was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder
America's Oldest Juvenile Lifer Is a Black Man Who Was Released in Philadelphia After 68 Years in Prison
It should surprise absolutely no one that America's oldest and longest-serving juvenile offender is a Black man. Joe Ligon was 15 years old when he received a life sentence in Philadelphia for taking part in a series of robberies and assaults that left two people dead-people he has always denied killing while admitting that he was involved in the other crimes with other teens.