Lost for Life

Could You Forgive?

75 minutes 7.9/10 based on 10 votes

This thought-provoking documentary tells the story of a few of the more than 2500 individuals in the US who are serving life sentences with no possibility of parole. This is the punishment they have received for crimes they committed when they were seventeen years old or younger. Some of these prisoners are as young as thirteen.

Joshua Rofé spent four intensive years working on this project to capture the reality faced by these individuals, their own families, and the families of the victims.

What can trigger the amount of rage and coldness necessary to commit murder? For some teens it’s the innate desire to fit in, to not be a loser or a loaner. They long to be accepted, loved, and noticed. For others it is bottled up rage from the abuse suffered at the hands of those they trusted and who should have been their protectors.

This powerful film attacks this controversial issue from many different standpoints as it explores the intricacy of the lives of those affected. Both the perspectives of the criminals, as well as the perspectives of the victims, are well documented.

Life without parole basically means that there’s no hope of rehabilitation and reintegration. The teen’s life is ended and mere existence takes over because he or she is no longer worthy to walk among the rest of us.

Although many advocates argue that a teenager’s brain is not fully developed and that hence, he or she cannot be held completely accountable for the heinous crimes committed, the real question this stance poses is how much comfort does this offer to the family and friends of the victims? Others claim that in most cases, the murderers had been mistreated as children and were only acting in response to the trauma and abuse, but is that really a valid reason to take another person’s life?

Allegedly, some of the teens sought help before committing the actual crimes but were never taken seriously and weren’t offered any professional assistance. One advocate declares that in one particular case, the young man is paying for the sins of an entire community that simply didn’t listen to his cries for help.

What form of justice comes into play when a kid kills? Does a horrific act such as murder mean that an individual is beyond redemption? Should minors who commit murders be sentenced to life without parole? And what if it was you, and a child took the life of your loved one, would you be able to forgive? Watch this film now.

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Discuss This Documentary

  • Why do some of your movies buffer continuously? It’s annoying!!!

    • DocumentaryStorm

      Hi Lauren, sorry you’re having an issue with buffering. The video may be too heavy for your video connection. You can try reducing the quality to 720p or 360p by clicking the “HD” button at the bottom right of the player.

  • Marianne sherritt

    How many of the young people in prison for life without parole are young women? Say, percentage wise?

  • samwolf78

    Do your videos work with chromecast? I want to be able to cast from my tablet to my tv. Thanks

  • Maxine Godfrey

    rather superficial for a 4-yr project. it boils down to guys with guns (and one knifer/lifer).

  • Yosemite Sam

    Can I forgive them? Yes, of course! Quite willingly. Do these people escape the consequences of their heinous behavior? No, they don’t.

  • courlock43

    Why does it take over 25 min. to load the documentary??? It still hasn’t loaded

    • Sandy May Jones Cardwell

      get some ram man lol

  • Diddums

    I watched this with an open mind, actually ready to feel sympathy with these young people…. Nope. They didn’t do some pot or steal a car, they killed, cold-bloodedly, their own friends, family, strangers.. They can stay where they are as far as I’m concerned.

    • Pia

      Interesting. I watched this ready to feel hatred but felt sympathy for all of them, except Torey (The guy who never admitted his guilt). They were monsters at the time of the crime, but that most of them are now facing their demons makes it easy for me to forgive.

      • marlette782

        The only people who can forgive are the victims family. Just because you forgive them doesn’t mean they should be released

    • discus

      I felt sympathy for Draper, but the rest seemed very untrustworthy. Especially Adamcik. He reminded me of someone I knew who was schizophrenic. His parents really babied him, too…his mom sounded a bit unhinged herself. Unreal. It’s unfortunate some had the lives they did as children, but they likely wouldn’t have fared well if they hadn’t grown up in jail, either. Draper was the only one who showed real remorse.

  • Terrie Black

    This documentary makes me so very sad and I cried for these young people. Our society failed to protect them. How can we punish them with life in prison without the possibility of parole when they too were victims? We need to stand up for those who have faced this kind of abuse and do something to make a change in the way we judge and condem.

  • Justice4ALL

    These parasites got what they deserve…Why is it when they are locked up that they feel remorseful?…It pisses me off to hear Torey’s parents saying how such a good kid and a kind kind person he is…ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!! WAKE UP LADY! Good kind kids don’t go around committing murder and recording it!! YOU BOTH FAILED AS PARENTS! I HOPE YOUR KID IS ENJOYING BEING BUTT SLAM!!

  • czechchicklet

    If Torey’s own parents say that he is the EXACT same kid now, as he was BEFORE he went to prison, that right there proves he’s still a socio/psychopath. They want him out some day, smdh. He’s never admitted or shown remorse for his crime. He wanted to kill over 20 people (he said so, on video).
    Just because he was 16 at the time doesn’t mean he didn’t know it was wrong. Otherwise, 16 year olds would be killing other students every single day, in every high school. Not ONE student at the high school I went to has EVER murdered another student. In the history of the school’s existence. That’s the norm.
    How can people think he should only serve 15 years. Even 25 isn’t enough. Life IS exactly what he deserves.

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