Nearly every mother has dreams for her children. She dreams
about them growing up to be successful in their careers, finding loving
partners and creating grandchildren.  Those
dreams never include imprisonment.

This Mother’s Day, we highlight the stories of mothers of
people who are serving sentences of life in prison without the possibility of
parole for crimes committed when they were children. These mothers were
separated from their children during their formative years and have had to give
up on their dreams. They have sat in court and listened to witnesses,
prosecutors and judges claim that their children are monsters,  as they desperately seek guidance on how to
navigate a complex legal system that holds the fate of their children.

They have watched their children escorted out of the
courtroom in handcuffs, knowing they will never hold their children again. Their
maternal role to protect their children has been forever stripped of them,
their mothering questioned, and they are left carrying shame, guilt, and a deep
sense of loneliness.

These mothers do not question the severity of, or excuse the
mistakes their children have made.  They
recognize the pain suffered by the mothers of those lost in tragic acts of
violence. They know their children must pay their debts to society.

Mothers know more deeply than any others that their children
are worth much more than the sum of their actions.  This knowledge and their love motivate them
to bear the shame they carry and courageously speak out to bring their children
home.  Join us this Mother’s Day, on
behalf of the 2,500 mothers of children sentenced to die in prison, to ensure
that no child is ever discarded for life.