source: The Nation
published: 25 June 2014
Exactly two years after the US Supreme Court ruled against mandatory life without parole sentences for juveniles convicted of murder, the majority of states affected by the ruling have not passed laws banning the practice, according to a report by the Sentencing Project.
The Supreme Court ruled five-to-four in Miller v. Arizona that mandatory life without parole (LWOP) sentences for minors violate the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
In her majority opinion, Justice Kagan cited research that found that “only a relatively small proportion of adolescents who experiment in risky or illegal activities develop entrenched patterns of problem behavior that persist into adulthood.”
Only thirteen of twenty-eight states that had locked up minors for life without a chance for release have passed laws to comply with the Court’s decision.