90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
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.

Guest:

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

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Brian Young

    In your discussion about the case of Joe Donovan, I feel you drastically understated the heinousness of the crime.  The woman you interviewed claimed Yngve Raustein was killed in a fight.  That is not true.  

    It wasn’t a fight with a tragic ending.  It wasn’t even a mugging that went horribly wrong.  According to Donovan’s accomplice, Raustein was killed “just to see what it was like to see somebody die.”  [quote taken from The Boston Phoenix, Aug 5, 2009]  

    Although I don’t have any strong feelings about life sentences for juvenile offenders, I do feel it is important to be clear that Rustein was not killed in a fight.  He was doing nothing more than walking along a street on a warm September evening.

    Brian Young
    MIT, class of 1996    

Robin and Jeremy

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

August 20 Comment

James Foley Remembered For His ‘Extraordinary Courage’

U.S. officials have confirmed the authenticity of a video showing the beheading of the American journalist.

August 20 5 Comments

L.A. Moves To Arrest Fewer Misbehaving Students

The change in the school district's policy is the culmination of a long fight by judges, government officials, advocates and attorneys.

August 19 5 Comments

Abandoned Homes In Buffalo, N.Y. Selling For $1

Instead of tearing the homes down, city officials are selling them for $1, as part of the "Urban Homestead Program."

August 19 Comment

A Look At U.S. Military Options In Iraq

Retired Admiral William Fallon, who was head of United States Central Command during the Iraq War, discusses the current conflict.