U.S. Supreme Court to Address Juvenile Life Sentences
May 19, 2009 | Grantee News | Juvenile Justice

The U.S. Supreme Court has accepted two cases from Florida that address whether sentencing juveniles to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole violates the Constitution’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. Both petitions submitted to the Court cite the landmark decision Roper v. Simmons, which relied on the findings of the Foundation’s Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice in abolishing the death penalty for juveniles. One case involves a 13-year-old who was sentenced to life without parole after he was convicted of rape; the other a 17-year-old who received the same sentence after he violated his probation by committing an armed robbery. The brief on behalf of the 13-year-old makes extensive use of the Network’s research. The cases are scheduled to be heard by the Court in October. The case was reported by media outlets including the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, and Reuters.

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