Juvenile Murderers and 'National Consensus'
6 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2017
Date Written: October 31, 2017
The United States Supreme Court has made a number of important rulings in the past decade concerning how juveniles are punished for serious offenses. In 2005, the Court held that sentencing juvenile offenders to death is unconstitutional. In 2010, it held that sentencing juveniles convicted of non-homicide offenses to life in prison without parole (LWOP) is unconstitutional. In 2012, the Court held that mandatory LWOP sentences for juvenile murderers is unconstitutional, and just this past year it held that this latter ruling applies retroactively to previously-sentenced juveniles. Notably, the Court left open the question of whether non-mandatory LWOP for juvenile murderers is an acceptable punishment. This issue could be considered by the Court in the near future.
JEL Classification: Law and Psychology
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation