Teen “Life Without Parole” Arguments Loom At Supreme Court


The case being heard Monday in the Supreme Court on life-without-parole sentences for juveniles may focus on just over 100 prison inmates in the U.S. who are serving such terms but not for murder. A Florida State University study reported by the Associated Press says the 109 such sentences are confined to eight states: California, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, and South Carolina. More than 2,000 other juveniles are serving life without parole for killing someone.The Supreme Court is being asked to say that locking up juveniles and throwing away the key is cruel and unusual – and thus, unconstitutional. Other than in death penalty cases, the justices never before have found that a penalty crossed the cruel and unusual line. Actor Charles Dutton, former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY)and others who committed crimes as teenagers have weighed in against life without parole sentences.

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