The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that juveniles may not be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for a non-homicide because it violates the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. The decision came in the case of Terrance Jamar Graham, who violated his probation by taking part in an armed robbery at the age of 17. The plaintiff in a companion case, Sullivan v. Florida, was represented by Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of grantee the Equal Justice Initiative and a MacArthur Fellow. Stevenson discusses the case in a videotaped interview on MacArthur’s website. MacArthur has supported efforts to reform juvenile justice systems through the Models for Change initiative. Research supported by the Foundation finds that young people are less culpable — and more amenable to rehabilitation — because of their immaturity.  The ruling was reported by news organizations, including the New York Times, USA Today, Bloomberg, and National Public Radio.

Juvenile Justice, Justice, United States, Youth