Supremes Rule Out Life Terms for Juveniles

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Supreme Court has ruled that juveniles convicted of crimes other than murder cannot be sentenced to life imprisonment without the chance of parole.

The court issued its ruling today in the case of Terrance Graham. According to the ruling, Graham was involved in two robberies in Florida: the first when he was just 16, and the second when he was 17. He was tried as an adult, and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

His lawyers challenged that ruling, citing the Eighth Amendment, and in a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court ruled in Graham's favor. "The state has denied him any chance to later demonstrate that he is fit to rejoin society based solely on a nonhomicide crime that he committed while he was a child in the eyes of the law," wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy, in a majority opinion quoted by The Associated Press.

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