Juvenile Life Without Parole for Non-Homicide Offenses: Florida Compared to Nation
Florida State University - College of Law
David W. Rasmussen
Florida State University - DeVoe L. Moore Center for the Study of Critical Issues in Economic Policy and Government
Chelsea Boehme Rice
Public Interest Law Center
September 14, 2009
FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 399
In May of 2009, the United States Supreme Court accepted two cases that raise the question of whether sentencing juvenile offenders who commit non-homicide crimes to life without the possibility of parole is cruel and unusual punishment. This report is focused exclusively on these juvenile offenders who received life without parole sentences for non-homicide crimes. It compares the sentencing trends in Florida, where both these cases originated, to the rest of the United States.
Researchers surveyed the state departments of corrections around the country and relay their findings in this report. Florida’s practice of sentencing juvenile offenders to life without parole for non-homicide crimes is unique among American states. The data presented in this report show that Florida far exceeds the rest of the nation in number of juvenile offenders sentenced to life without parole for non-homicide offenses. The total estimated number of juvenile offenders serving life without parole sentences for only non-homicide crimes in the United States is 109. Seventy-seven of these juvenile offenders are in Florida. Thirty-nine states have no juvenile offenders who have been sentenced to life without parole for non-homicide crimes.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 19
Date posted: October 18, 2009