Life Sentenced

Movie Review: They Call Us Monsters

By Caleb Atencio

The powerful, heart hitting documentary, They Call Us Monsters opens the eyes of  viewers on the topic of the juvenile courts system in the state of California. It raises certain questions within the film as three adolescent boys are facing various charges, one including murder. So with the odds stacked against them, you are able to see through the lens of Juan, Jared and Antonio as the events of their life and trail unfold.

As the film progressesd, you were able to see the type of characteristics that each boy held. Juan, 15,  was playful and reckless along with others but his story began to develop as he began to talk about a girl named Abigail. Later on, he was convicted of murder and went to jail while having an infant, with Abigail as the mother I believe, on the outside. What is most heart wrenching about Juan is his sentencing he was given. Once able to be eligible for parole and given it Juan would instantly get deported from the country. They did not add whether the family would travel with or not but I felt that it was fair due to his crimes, but it sucked because he seems like a good kid with good intentions but he got caught up with the wrong group.

Then there was Jared, Jared seemed very likable but he was dealt the worst set of cards when it came to the three. Jared was sentenced a total of 200 years in prison, for four attempted murders.  T but the reason for the harsh sentence was due to his position of a gun which added 25 years to each offense. I felt like the juvenile court should be at fault for this because it seemed unfair for how many years he got due to the position of guns. The enlightening side for him though would be senate bill 260. So at 15 and 25 years of him being incarcerated he will be eligible to make parole. Which is very good and leave Jared with hope for the future.

FThen finally, there’s Anthony, towards the beginning he was unexpectedly released from custody. So the story and documentary followed him home and showed how he slowly got back into his life which, sadly, was not ideal. He slowly started to smoke again and get in trouble. Which I think was afwal it felt like he did learn anything cause he instantly got back into the life he just got put into prison for.

Overall this documentary shows the unfairness in the juvenile court system especially in Jared’s case because he also go assigned an awful a attorney as well. Teens are yet to be given really an fairness when it comes to being tried as an adult.

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