On Monday, after 27 years of prison, Paula Cooper was released from Indiana’s Rockville Correctional Facility. Previously, Cooper, at 16, was the youngest person on death row in the United States when she was sentenced in 1986. She was convicted of stabbing a 78-year-old female Bible teacher in the stomach and chest 33 times after smoking marijuana and drinking wine. After her sentence, more than 2 million people signed a petition asking for an appeal to the sentence. But the most interesting advocate for her release was Bill Pelke, the grandson of the woman Cooper killed. He said that he had forgiven her and that it “brought a tremendous healing.”
Paula Cooper at 16 was the youngest person on death row in 1986.