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You may have heard some of our reporting over the last few years about a man named Suave, who is serving a life sentence for murder at a prison in Pennsylvania. The crime was a robbery-turned-shooting that resulted in the 1986 death of 13-year-old Danny Martinez in Philadelphia.

Luis “Suave” Gonzalez was only 17 at the time, making him a juvenile, but he was tried as an adult and given a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of ever being released. He would spend the rest of his life behind bars, and would ultimately die in prison.

That is, until a few days ago.

Earlier this week, the United States Supreme Court ruled in the Montgomery v Louisiana case that people like Suave, called juvenile lifers, have the right to be re-sentenced–which means his life sentence could be reduced to time he has already served. As a result of the ruling, Suave and thousands more in his position might have the opportunity to walk free.

I spoke with Suave a few days before the decision was ruled. After the Montgomery v Louisiana ruling, Suave spoke with producer Michael Simon Johnson. Here is our report:

“But I know that if I get out, I’m going to still need some help. Certain things I don’t know. For example, I don’t know how to use a cell phone. I’ve never seen one in my life. You know, I took a computer class, but I know that it’s not the same in the street. If you ask me, ‘go on the Internet and Google something,’ I’d be lost. You know, these are things that I need to learn.”—Luis “Suave” Gonzalez

For more about Suave, listen to Life Sentence from Latino USA:

Featured image:Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

4 thoughts on “Will Luis ‘Suave’ Gonzalez and Other Juvenile Lifers Be Released from Prison?

  1. I heard the 104.5 morning show with Suave and I was so impressed! It’s amazing to hear his story. There’s so many people that have lived a life of hell and nobody ever hears our story! Instead they’d at her watch a fiction show or read a fiction book, but I believe real life stories are much more interesting and soul catching than fiction. There are so many people with amazing life stories that should be heard. That’s the way we change the world. We can’t change the world fighting over who’s right or wrong. If we would just stop our chaos and look at people individually! Stop the cancel culture and make yourself useful. Reach out and listen to someone’s story before you make judgement or worry about canceling a Fr. Seuss book. My God there’s so many more important things in life. People dying in the streets and that need a helping hand. Please everyone share kindness. STOP creating chaos against people you know nothing about. Everyone out there struggling to get through life, you need to find one thing to hold on to and never let go. Be kind to all until you know who or what they’re about. I believe in going as far as stopping for an injured animal and saving it to fixing a butterflies wing and helping it fly for a week until it flew away. When you do something like that it feels so good to see your kindness saved a life. Imagine what it would be like to help a person struggling, change their life and see them fly. So please be kind to everyone and everything. Anger is not the answer. Thank you Suave for seeing life in a different light and changing our world. You’re amazing. Keep changing our world and spread kindness to all.💕🌺

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