U.S. Supreme Court bans mandatory life-without-parole for juveniles in murder cases

U.S. Supreme Court bans mandatory life-without-parole for juveniles in murder cases

Washington : DC : USA | Jun 25, 2012 at 8:29 AM PDT
Views: Pending
Weighing Life Without Parole for Juvenile Murder Convicts

(Washington, D.C.) A sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court today in a 5-4 vote banned mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juveniles 17 and under in cases involving murder, ruling these sentences “cruel and unusual punishment.”

The ruling involved two cases; one in which a 14-year-old Alabama teen who was convicted in the arson and beating death of a man in 2003. The teen and his accomplice beat the man to death and set his trailer on fire. The other case involved an Arkansas teen, who was 14-years-old, when in 1999 he robbed a video store and shot and killed the clerk.

The ruling follows other similar cases the high court has made in the past – including banning the death penalty and life-without-parole for juveniles who commit serious crimes that do not involve murder.

Writing for the majority and summarizing the opinion for the court, Justice Elena Kagan in which Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg Stephen Bryer and Sonia Sotomayer joined said ”Children are constitutionality different from adults for sentencing purposes.”

Kagan also said that juveniles “lack of maturity and underdeveloped sense of responsibility “may lead them to commit reckless and serious crimes with impulsivity and not having the reasoning ability that adults have. In its ruling the court agreed that juvenile offenders are much more likely to be rehabilitated than their adult counterparts.

However, the ruling permits judges to consider the teen's life and factors involving the crime while stresing that life-without-parole sentences involving those under 17 should be rare.

Currently thirty-eight states permit juveniles to be sentenced to life-without-parole in cases involving murder.


U.S. Supreme Court Case 10-9646 Miller v. Alabama


1 of 18
People depart the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington
People depart the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington
StephenPope is based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
Report Credibility
  • Clear
  • Share:
  • Share
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear

News Stories

  • Court: No more life without parole for juveniles

      AP Online
    The Supreme Court says it's unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life in prison without parole for murder. The high court on Monday threw out Americans' ability to send children to prison for the rest of their lives with no chance...
  • Health care ruling expected on Thursday

      Associated Press
    The Supreme Court will issue its last opinions on Thursday, with its decision on President Barack Obama's health care overhaul expected to come down that day. The court will begin its summer recess after announcing its decisions, with health care...
  • Supreme Court Upholds Key Part of Arizona Law

      Asian Wall Street Journal
    The Supreme Court upheld a key part of Arizona's tough-immigration law but struck down others as intrusions on federal sovereignty. The Supreme Court reaffirmed its two-year-old decision relaxing limits on corporate campaign spending. The justices...
  • US Supreme Court Reaffirms Citizens United, Rejects Montana Campaign ...

      International Business Times
    Articles A summarily reversal means the court made the decision without a full briefing or oral arguments. In the dissent, written by Justice Stephen Breyer, the dissenters explain they were not granting review of the case because there is no chance...
  • Supreme Court's Montana decision strengthens Citizens United

      Washington Post
    The Supreme Court has struck down a Montana ban on corporate political money, ruling 5 to 4 that the controversial 2010 Citizens United ruling applies to state and local elections...Bullock along the same lines as in the original Citizens United case,...





More From Allvoices

Related People

Report Your News Got a similar story?
Add it to the network!

Or add related content to this report

Most Commented Reports

Use of this site is governed by our Terms of Use Agreement and Privacy Policy.

© Allvoices, Inc. 2008-2014. All rights reserved. Powered by PulsePoint.