Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Juvenile LWOP - SCOTUSblog recap of Tuesday's SC oral arguments


Moving further along the constitutional line between adults and children in the criminal courts, the Supreme Court on Tuesday turned to life-without-parole sentences for youths who commit murder, and appeared to be reaching for a compromise.  If the indications from a one-hour hearing hold, the Court might allow such sentences to be imposed on youths, but not as a mandatory matter for younger teenagers.  And it could choose to forbid that penalty at all for some, but where that line might be drawn was far from clear – although it might wind up at 12 or younger.  In more than 90 minutes of argument in two cases, there was no sign that a majority would come together on a flat ban for such a sentence for anyone under age 18 — the preferred outcome sought by two youths’ lawyer.

Continue reading »

Transcripts of Tuesday’s oral arguments in Miller v. Alabama and Jackson v. Hobbs