Juvenile Life Without Parole for Non-Homicide Offenses: Florida Compared to Nation
19 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2009
Date Written: September 14, 2009
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.
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