The purpose of this paper is to analyze data, policy trends, and legal concerns on the issue of sentencing juvenile offenders to life without the possibility of parole (LWOP). Policy changes in the 1980s and 90s dramatically changed the sentencing outcomes for juvenile offenders. Significantly departing from the rehabilitative goals established by the juvenile court, states adopted harsher punishments, including LWOP. During this shift, the diminished culpability of youth became insignificant when compared to the nature of their crimes. The recent cases of Roper v. Simmons (2005) and Graham v. Florida (2010) reinstated the importance of recognizing that juveniles are different from adults, and accordingly should not be subjected to the same punishments. In light of these decisions, the constitutionality of sentencing juveniles to LWOP will be addressed.
Juvenile Life Without Parole.
Undergraduate Review, 8, 74-80.
Available at: http://vc.bridgew.edu/undergrad_rev/vol8/iss1/14
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