Life sentence at 16

Corey Hollinger was convicted in May 1987 for the murder of Albert Swalm in Lebanon Township, PA.  Hollinger was 16 and his brother Tracy was 14 when a home burglary turned to murder.  Both pleaded guilty to murder and were sentenced as adults.  Corey received a life sentence with no chance of parole for first degree murder.  Tracy was sentenced 12 to 60 for third-degree murder but has the possibility of parole.

The Hollinger boys had a rough life growing up and a history of committing crimes at a young age.  While in prison, Corey survived the Camp Hill prison riots and found faith in God to overcome his drug addiction in 1990.

Corey has had time to reflect on his actions in the past.  He takes responsibility for his actions, but he believes he has been punished for the crime he committed as a child and could be a productive part of society if he were released from this life sentence.  Corey does not feel entitled to the possibility of parole but believes that youth sentenced to life does not give them the chance to ever turn their life around.

After reading this article, I Googled Corey Hollinger and found a picture of him and his prison address.  I’ve written him a letter and if he responds, I will take the time to know him because his past is behind him.   He still seems to have a bright out-look on life knowing he most likely will never leave the prison complex and that is remarkable in itself.

I hope his faith in God remains strong.


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