Man Jailed 50 Years for Murder Is at Center of Supreme Court Hearing on Youth Life Sentences

In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that youth can’t be sentenced automatically to life in prison. But what should happen to the couple thousand inmates already serving such sentences? Tuesday, lawyers for Henry Montgomery argue that they should get parole hearings. An in-depth look at the crime and the man at the center of the case.

Miller v. Alabama: One Year Later

Last year, the Supreme Court declared mandatory life without parole sentences for juveniles to be unconstitutional. A year after the landmark ruling, how have the nation’s juvenile justice systems been impacted?

Ohio Legislators Propose Bill Giving Kids the Right to Counsel in Interrogations

Earlier this month, in a narrow 4-3 decision, the Ohio state Supreme Court ruled juveniles are not entitled to the many of the same legal protections as adults, including the right to counsel during police interrogations that occur before charges are filed. Now, several state legislators are responding, proposing a law that would overrule the high court’s decision. Ohio state Minority Whip Rep. Tracy Maxwell Heard, a Columbus-area Democrat, began drafting the proposed bill a year before the Oct. 3 Supreme Court ruling, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reports. The General Assembly proposal, co-sponsored by Rep. Ross McGregor, a Republican from Springfield, requires juveniles be informed of their right to counsel - either with an attorney or a parent or guardian - prior to police interrogations.

Pennsylvania High Court to Make Make Key Call on Juvenile Life Sentences

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments today that may lead to a chance at parole for more than 400 inmates convicted of murder as minors. The Court is deciding if a June 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision is retroactive, and if so, what sentence should be given to two convicts in today’s cases. The federal court, in Miller v. Alabama, said that minors convicted of murder have a right to present mitigating factors — such as the immaturity of youth — to sentencing judges. That invalidates one-size-fits-all mandatory life without parole sentences listed in federal and 28 states’ statutes. “It’s about retroactivity and also resentencing,” said Marsha Levick, deputy director of the Juvenile Law Center in Pennsylvania, who is arguing for retroactivity before the court.