This is Alena Rust with, we think, Edwin Coriano. But this casual pose stands in contrast to their booking photos, snapped after they were arrested on charges related to the sexual trafficking of a woman against her will. Rust's pic is included in the following roundup of June 2014's most memorable ... More >>
This week, Colorado Supreme Court justices heard arguments from lawyers representing three juvenile offenders currently serving mandatory life without parole -- a sentence now considered unconstitutional. The Supreme Court's decision in one of these cases could affect how Colorado treats its juvenil ... More >>
A stolen vehicle. Two armed robbery attempts, one of them successful. And a police chase prior to an arrest. That's a full day for anyone -- but especially for a twelve year old, busted yesterday along with a wizened cohort, age sixteen. What happened? Here's how the cops describe it.
Erik Jensen was seventeenwhen he got mixed up in the deadly domestic drama of Nate Ybanez, his best buddy. Ybanez is now serving a life sentence for the 1998 murder of his mother, Julie; Jensen is also serving life without parole for helping him -- although whether he was involved in the actual kill ... More >>
With a nod to emerging brain science that contends adolescents are fundamentally different from adults -- and a stern rebuke to the one-size-fits-all approach to prosecuting underaged defendants in adult courts -- the United States Supreme Court ruled Monday that a mandatory sentence of life without ... More >>
I first encountered Josh Beckius, subject of "Redemption," this week's cover story, as a photograph in the Boulder newspaper. I'd read that some teenagers had been arrested in connection with a two-year-old murder at Basemar Cinema Savers, and here he was, a dark-haired kid posing with a base ... More >>
In the two years since Westword first profiled Nate Ybanez, top, and Erik Jensen (“Headed for Trouble,” July 7, 2005), their story has gone national with pieces on Frontline and in Rolling Stone that inspired support from around the globe. But the two remain locked up in Colorado state prisons, ... More >>
Colorado’s legislature may have changed the law so that juveniles convicted of first degree murder don’t get the key thrown away when they’re locked up for life without parole, but there’s still 46 of them sitting behind bars who will never get a chance to walk free again. One of them, Eri ... More >>
If Nate Ybanez is ever to see life outside of prison, he needs lots of attention --and Rolling Stone just turned on the spotlight. Nate is one of more than forty people serving life without parole for murders they committed in Colorado before turning eighteen. He and his buddy, Erik Jensen, killed ... More >>
The truth may not set you free, but it illuminates The Exonerated.
From the week of July 14, 2005
The Pendulum Foundation keeps track of juveniles serving life.
Erik wanted to help his friend get out of the house. He succeeded -- they're both in prison for life.