In 1994, at the age of 16, Christi Cheramie was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. To impose this sentence on a person who was under 18 years old at the time of the crime violates international law. Christie Cheramie is now 33 years old and has spent more than half of her life in prison.
The USA is the only country apart from Somalia not to have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that no person under 18 at the time of the crime should be sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of release. However, as a signatory to the treaty, the USA is still bound under international law not to defeat its object and purpose. There are more than 2,500 people in the USA serving life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for crimes committed when they were under 18 years old.