A sec­ond chance?

Su­sanna Reid in­ves­ti­gates whether ju­ve­nile mur­der­ers serv­ing life should get pa­role…

What's on TV - - Real Life Tv -

Friends and neigh­bours Josh Phillips, 14, and eight-yearold Mad­die Clifton used to play to­gether in the mid­dle-class neigh­bour­hood, where they lived across the street from each other.

But, on 3 Novem­ber 1998, Josh, who had re­cently moved to the area, bru­tally mur­dered Mad­die by bat­ter­ing her with a base­ball bat be­fore stab­bing her.

Since ju­ve­nile of­fend­ers in Amer­ica can re­ceive adult sen­tences, Josh was put away for life without pa­role in 1999.

But now pris­on­ers like Josh are get­ting the chance to ap­peal their sen­tences, do they de­serve a sec­ond chance – or should life mean life?

Ap­peal hear­ing

In this one-off doc­u­men­tary show­ing as part of ITV’s Crime & Pun­ish­ment sea­son, Good Morn­ing Bri­tain’s Su­sanna

Reid trav­els to the US for an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with Josh, who is now 33. She also meets Mad­die’s fam­ily and dis­cov­ers the out­come of Josh’s four-day ap­peal hear­ing, ex­tracts from which ap­pear in the pro­gramme.

‘Josh’s crime shocked Amer­ica, and at 15 he was sen­tenced,’ says Su­sanna. ‘In the UK, no child could legally re­ceive such a se­vere pun­ish­ment. But, in Amer­ica, un­like any other coun­try in the world, adult crime means adult time.’

Frank in­ter­view

In the hear­ing, and in his in­ter­view, Josh puts his case for hav­ing his sen­tence changed 19 years af­ter the mur­der took place.

‘I think I de­serve a chance,’ he says. ‘I don’t think it’s too much to ask. Free­dom scares me – I’ve never had a job or had to pay taxes and I’ve never taken care of my­self. But I want to get out of here.’

How­ever, as far as Mad­die’s fam­ily are con­cerned, her killer should spend the rest of his life be­hind bars.

‘She doesn’t get to walk the face of this earth again,’ says Mad­die’s older sis­ter, Jes­sica. ‘Why should he?’

Life be­hind bars… Su­sanna meets pris­oner Josh Phillips

new fAc­tuAl Chil­dren Who Kill

thurs­day, 9.00pm ItV

Shock­ing mur­der… Mad­die was killed by Josh when he was 14

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