Public Safety & Justice

States Revisit Mandatory Jail Time for Juvenilles

In part to head off an avalanche of expected appeals, at least 10 states have changed laws to comply with the ruling.
August 19, 2013
 

2,100 so-called juvenile lifers across the country -- inmates sentenced to lengthy prison terms without parole -- hope for a reprieve in the wake of a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Miller v. Alabama.

The decision determined such sentences are cruel and unusual punishment and therefore unconstitutional. The court ruled, 5-4, that the proportionality of the sentence must take into account “the mitigating qualities of youth,” such as immaturity and the failure of young people to understand the ramifications of their actions.

In part to head off an avalanche of expected appeals, at least 10 states have changed laws to comply with the ruling.

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