Skip to comments.Court bars mandatory life without parole for kids
Posted on 06/25/2012 2:58:29 PM PDT by Olog-hai
The Supreme Court on Monday threw out mandatory life in prison without parole for juveniles in America. The ruling continued its trend of holding that children cannot be automatically punished the same way as criminal adults without considering their age and other factors.
The 5-4 decision split along ideological lines: The court's four liberals and swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy joined to order states and the federal government to allow judges and juries to consider a juvenile's age when they hand down sentences for some of the harshest crimes, instead of making life in prison without parole automatic.
By making youth "irrelevant to imposition of that harshest prison sentence, such a scheme poses too great a risk of disproportionate punishment," wrote Justice Elena Kagan, who was joined in the majority opinion by Kennedy and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor.
Monday's decision left open the possibility that individual judges could sentence juveniles to life without parole in individual cases of murder, but said state and federal laws cannot automatically impose such a sentence.
This decision is in line with others the court has made, including ruling out the death penalty for juveniles and life without parole for young people whose crimes did not involve killing.
Dissenting, the court's four conservatives said nothing in the Constitution forbids laws requiring mandatory life in prison without parole for juveniles. Chief Justice John Roberts was joined in the main dissent by Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. Alito also wrote separately and read his dissent aloud in the courtroom.
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Do the crime....do the time.
Not under this SCOTUS, eh?
Criminal kids have it made in this country. And you do not even have to be a citizen.
Emphassis is mine.
Perhaps this is the correct approach, let the judge/jury pass judgement. I wonder how many "Guilty" kids escaped justice, because the jury didn't want the "manditory" portion. Whenever you do something like "manditory" - it gets abused. Just like the "Zero tolerance" issue in schools, it removes any common sense at all - where kids are kicked out of school for taking Asperin to school, or a Boy Scout pocketknife is deemed a lethan weapon.
You need to allow the judge/jury some 'wiggle' room, in order for justice to be tailored to the crime. I'm not saying that juveniles shouldn't get life without parole; I am saying that this shouldn't be an "automatic" sentence. It depends upon the individual case.
Hey, they don’t pay no mind
If you’re under 18 you won’t be doing any time
Hey, come out and play
Don’t give them life - just give them 99 years for each count.
If I am reading this right, a state can still sentence a juvenile to life without parole. However, the sentence cannot be mandatory by statue. As long as a jury is able to separately decide this is the appropriate sentence, it can still be given. Some state should just double down and them and pass a law to give juries the option of a death sentence in addition to life without parole.
I think most mandatory sentences of life without parole was a bargain struck by legislatures with citizens as part of severely limiting or eliminating the death sentence.
“Just like the “Zero tolerance” issue in schools, it removes any common sense at all - where kids are kicked out of school for taking Asperin to school, or a Boy Scout pocketknife is deemed a lethal weapon.”
If you think zero tolerance policies have anything to do with these fiascoes, you have a seriously misguided view of the public school establishment.
All that zero tolerance does is give teachers and administrators the tools they need to step on whitey (i.e., ever notice that it’s always the whites that are the victims)...where before, whitey could come back after them with a lawsuit.
Put another way, if one brought aspirin to school and a teacher saw it...couldn’t the teacher just ignore it...if she didn’t feel like making a spectacle of it. Same with a boy scout pocket knife. No, the people that run these schools in work in these schools LOVE zero tolerance - to them it’s the great ‘equalizer’, about to destroy the future of a Harvard-bound white girl, so that a more-deserving person can take her place.
Dont give them life - just give them 99 years for each count.”””
TO be served CONSECUTIVELY.....
For deadly crimes I am sorry age means nothing. Those people can’t come back. It’s the least to do if we cannot execute the garbage.
OK, life minus a day in prison.