Civil Suit Challenges Life Without Parole for Kids

Print More

There are new legal challenges popping up across the country in the wake of the Graham v. Florida Supreme Court decision, which made life without parole sentences for juveniles unconstitutional in cases that don’t involve murder.

Unlike appeals filed in Florida and Pennsylvania, the American Civil Liberties Union is suing Michigan government officials on behalf of nine convicts who were sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole for crimes they committed when they were minors, according to the Jurist.

Michigan law requires mandatory life sentences for certain crimes committed by kids who are 14 to 17 years old. The ACLU argues their rights have been violated because they don’t have the chance for parole by demonstrating growth or maturity.

As JJIE.org reported in September, the Graham decision relies on the concept that because a teen’s brain is not fully developed, he or she deserves a chance to change.

The ruling could have an impact on more than 100 cases in the state of Florida and so far five inmates have filed appeals in Pennsylvania.

Comments are closed.