Joe Ligon is a former prisoner from the United States. He was America’s longest-serving prisoner, having been sentenced to life in jail as a teenager. Ligon was found guilty of murder by the association at the age of 15 and condemned to life in jail with no chance of parole. He was released in 2021 when the US Supreme Court declared in 2016 that all youth life sentences without parole were retroactively illegal. He had spent 68 years in prison. Ligon was raised on an Alabama farm and had a tough childhood, according to Joe Ligon biography.
Joe Ligon biography: Who is his family?
Ligon had a tough childhood growing up on a farm in Alabama, according to Joe Ligon biography. He didn’t have many friends growing up in the country with his maternal grandparents near Birmingham, Alabama, and instead recalls happy times with his family, such as watching his other grandfather preach in a local church on Sundays. Ligon went from the deep south to Philadelphia at the age of 13 to live with his nursing mother, mechanic father, and younger brother and sister in a blue-collar neighborhood. He had difficulty at school and couldn’t read or write. He didn’t participate in sports, and he didn’t have many friends.
As his financial problems worsened, he joined a gang in Philadelphia that was involved in a drunken stabbing spree. Ligon said he was told to plead guilty after his accomplices identified him as the killer, and he didn’t realize it would mean life in jail. He also failed to appear for his own sentencing. Valerie, Ligon’s ailing sister’s kid, intends to be a constant in his life, just as he has been in hers. Hours after Ligon’s release, she was there to greet him. He argues that while being imprisoned, he has done nothing for his family.
While he was locked up, almost all of his family died; many of the men were murdered. A sister, some nieces, and nephews are all he has left. This was his central sadness: “It would have been much better if I had come out when my parents were still alive,” he said.
“My baby brother was murdered in South Philadelphia. Father was murdered in Pennsylvania,” Ligon said. “My brother Jesse was married to a woman, and her brother was murdered in Pennsylvania and her father was murdered in Pennsylvania. There has just been so much crime in Pennsylvania within my family.”
Why was he imprisoned?
On February 20, 1953, Joseph Ligon, then 15 years old, went to a dance with four other teenagers and drank wine. They robbed and stabbed eight individuals in Philadelphia as a result. Charles Pitts and Jackson Hamm, two of the victims, died. In 1953, Ligon was 16 years old when he was tried and sentenced to life in prison with three other lads in connection with the stabbing murders of two men and the injuries of eight others. Despite his conviction, Ligon claims that he did not kill anyone because just one person was stabbed and survived.
Ligon admitted to stabbing one victim who survived the attack throughout his trial. He has admitted to stabbing the victim and expressed regret as a result. He has always denied any involvement in either crime.
Joe Ligon returns to the modern world after serving 68 years in a Pennsylvania jail.
Ligon was released from Montgomery County jail on February 11, 2021. When Bridge went to the jail to pick him up, he noted that Ligon was completely calm—there was no “oh my god” reaction or drama. Ligon stated on his release a month later: “It felt as if I had been born again. Because everything – well, almost everything – was new to me “.
Ligon had served 68 years in prison when he was released, making him America’s longest-serving juvenile lifer. According to the Vera Institute of Justice, incarcerating him cost the state of Pennsylvania about three million dollars.
Locked up at age 15, Joe Ligon became the nation’s longest-serving juvenile “lifer.”
Now, at 83, he’s finally free — and reentering an unfamiliar world. https://t.co/xr0qGAC0DI
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 19, 2021