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Monday, June 25, 2012

Supreme Court: No More Mandatory Life Without Parole For Juveniles

The Supreme Court has ruled that it’s unconstitutional to mandate that juveniles convicted of murder be sentenced to life in prison without eligibility for parole. (According to federal law, a juvenile is someone under the age of 18, but some states define “juvenile” differently.)

The decision comes in the robbery and murder cases of two 14-year-olds. Evan Miller was convicted of killing a man in Alabama, and Kuntrell Jackson was convicted of being an accomplice in an Arkansas robbery that ended in murder. Both were sentenced to life without parole.

The Supreme Court’s decision comes two years after the high court banned life without parole for juveniles convicted of crimes other than murder.


  • Deborah Becker, reporter for WBUR, Boston, 2012 Juvenile Justice Fellow for the John J. College of Criminal Justice in New York

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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