Life Sentences for Juveniles
Trial Magazine, October 2012, p. 52
6 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2012 Last revised: 12 Jul 2013
Date Written: 2012
This article analyzes the 2012 consolidated cases of Jackson v. Alabama and Miller v. Hobbs. The issue is whether a mandatory life without parole sentence is ever appropriate for a juvenile and concludes that it is not. However, the Court does not rule out such LWOP sentences. They may be given on an individual basis after consideration of the characteristics of the crime and the defendant in an individual case. Given this, it is hard to see any solid argument for allowing the legislature to determine in advance that all juveniles who are convicted of murder, even one who had only minimal involvement in the killing such as the 14 year old Jackson, must be given LWOP regardless of the circumstances of their case.
Keywords: Juveniles, Sentencing, Life without parole
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