Supreme Court Bans Life-Without-Parole Sentences for Juveniles Convicted of Homicide
Today a historic Supreme Court ruling banned mandatory life sentences for children convicted of homicide.
The ruling strikes down statutes in 29 States that allow for juveniles to receive life sentences without the possibility of parole. The ruling makes it clear that young offenders should be given “a meaningful opportunity to show they have rehabilitated themselves and are appropriate candidates for release.”
“‘This is an important win for children. The Court took a significant step forward by recognizing the fundamental unfairness of mandatory death-in-prison sentences that don’t allow sentencers to consider the unique status of children and their potential for change,’ said Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, who represents Jackson and Miller. ‘The Court has recognized that children need additional attention and protection in the criminal justice system.”
Today’s decision requires the lower courts to conduct new sentencing hearings where judges will have to consider children’s individual characters and life circumstances, including age, as well as the circumstances of the crime.”
What are your thoughts on this important ruling?
Do you think it’s appropriate to sentence juvenile offenders to life without parole?
Sound off below!