Supreme Court Will Rule on Juvenile Life Sentences

Posted by: Russell Hebets       21-Mar-2012       (0) Comments        Back to Main Blog

This week the Supreme Court is hearing a set of cases to determine if you can ever give a juvenile a life sentence without the possibility for parole. In Graham v. Florida in 2010 the court ruled that juveniles who did not commit murder could not be sentenced to life without parole. In the current case the question is whether or not life without parole can be given when a juvenile has committed murder. There are two theories about where the case might go.

First, one theory is that the court is hearing this case to broaden their 2010 decision and make it clear that the intended to end life sentences for juveniles. The second theory is that they wish to to clarify their 2010 ruling by making an exception for cases of murder. Either way the decision will impact the most important juvenile cases in the criminal justice system.

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