Today, in a 5-4 ruling written by Justice Elena Kagan, the Supreme Court of the United States declared mandatory life sentences without parole for juvenile offenders unconstitutional.
The decision will have a major impact on Michigan, the state with the second highest number of juvenile offenders serving life in prison without the possibility of parole, as documented in a major, State Bar of Michigan Wade H. McCree Award for the Advancement of Justice-winning series by MLive.com. Of the 2,500 such juvenile offenders serving life in prison without parole in the U.S., 358 reside in Michigan.
The majority, including justices Sotomayor, Kennedy, Breyer, and Ginsberg, cited the Eighth Amendment as support for their decision. Justices Scalia, Alito, Roberts and Thomas dissented.
Posted by Samantha Meinke