A Daily news digest by Jasper van Santen

Juveniles and Life WITHOUT PAROLE- The Nation

In News, Really?!? on March 14, 2012 at 15:02

Why Life Without Parole Is Wrong for Juveniles

In Roper v. Simmons, which ruled out the death penalty for under-age offenders in 2005, the Court reasoned that “juvenile offenders cannot with reliability be classified among the worst offenders” because they are less mature and their sense of responsibility has not fully developed. They are more vulnerable to negative internal and external influences, including peer pressure. Unlike adults, they can’t control or escape dysfunctional homes and dangerous neighborhoods—two major contributing factors to youth crime. They also have a greater chance for rehabilitation. Thus, as the Court said, “from a moral standpoint it would be misguided to equate the failings of a minor with those of an adult.

 Bryan Stevenson argues in a summary of the Miller argument: “To wholly disregard a 14-year-old offender’s age and age-related characteristics in sentencing him to be imprisoned for the remainer of his existence makes a mockery” of the precedent set by the Court in Roper and Graham.

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