Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Mali: Jihadist group announces death of french hostage

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Tutu cautions ANC: South African peace laureate criticizes ruling party

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Clamping down on jihad propaganda online

Read more

DEBATE

Homegrown Jihadists: France Sets Out Plan to Monitor Web and Support Families (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Homegrown Jihadists: France Sets Out Plan to Monitor Web and Support Families

Read more

WEB NEWS

Ukrainians turn Russian 'evidence' into meme

Read more

FOCUS

Copenhagen seeks to decriminalise use of cannabis

Read more

FACE-OFF

French president's advisor resigns: A new blow for François Hollande

Read more

ENCORE!

Films as plays, plays as films and TV at the cinema

Read more

  • US would defend Japan in islands dispute, Obama says

    Read more

  • Afghan guard kills foreigners in Kabul hospital attack

    Read more

  • Video: Mayor in east Ukraine ready ‘to turn Slaviansk into battlefield’

    Read more

  • New far-right mayor moves to quash Paris region mosque

    Read more

  • US soldiers arrive in Poland as Ukraine crisis continues

    Read more

  • Fatah, Hamas agree to form Palestinian unity government

    Read more

  • Millions of Syrians desperately need aid, says UN

    Read more

  • Muslims in CAR pray for an escape route

    Read more

  • Madrid beat Bayern 1-0 in first leg of Champions League semis

    Read more

  • Britain's ex-PM Blair warns against spread of radical Islam

    Read more

  • Turkish PM offers condolences to descendants of Armenians killed in 1915

    Read more

  • Gay marriage, one year on: ‘French civilisation did not crumble’

    Read more

  • Colombian president reinstates firebrand Bogota mayor

    Read more

  • NYPD public relations campaign on Twitter goes awry

    Read more

  • In pictures: Violent protests erupt in Rio

    Read more

  • French hostage Gilberto Rodrigues Leal has died, Islamists say

    Read more

  • 'Pope-mania' hits John Paul II's Polish hometown

    Read more

  • French actress Catherine Deneuve to sell €4 million château

    Read more

  • Chelsea, Atletico draw 0-0 in first leg of Champions League semis

    Read more

Americas

US Supreme Court curbs use of life sentences for juveniles

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-05-17

The US Supreme Court rejected as unconstitutional the life imprisonment without parole sentence for juveniles who commit a crime other than murder. Some 111 young defendants have been sentenced to life in prison without parole for non-murder crimes.

REUTERS - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday it was unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life in prison without parole for crimes other than murder.

By a 6-3 vote, the nation’s highest court ruled that life imprisonment without parole in such cases violated the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

An estimated 111 defendants in the United States have been sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for crimes other than murder committed when they were under age 18. About 70 percent of them are imprisoned in Florida.

The ruling in a case from Florida involved Terrance Graham, who was 16 when he committed armed burglary and another crime. He then committed an armed home-invasion robbery at age 17, and was sentenced to life in prison.

His attorney had argued that such a sentence unfairly condemned adolescents to die in prison and rejected any hope that they could change and could be rehabilitated.

The United States is the only country in the world that still sentences juveniles to life in prison without possibility of parole, Amnesty International and other human rights groups said.

“The United States is the world’s worst human rights violator in terms of sentencing young offenders to life without parole,” Alison Parker, U.S. director for Human Rights Watch, said after the ruling.

Nationwide juvenile sentencing trends in recent years have reflected get-tough efforts by states, which have abolished parole and prosecuted juveniles as adults in the regular criminal justice system for especially heinous crimes.

Attorneys for Graham partly based their arguments on the Supreme Court’s ruling in 2005 that abolished the death penalty for juveniles on the grounds they are less responsible for their crimes than adults due to their emotional immaturity.

In Monday’s decision, the Supreme Court, in a majority opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, overturned a ruling by a Florida court that upheld Graham’s sentence.

“The Constitution prohibits the imposition of a life without parole sentence on a juvenile offender who did not commit homicide,” Kennedy concluded in the 32-page opinion.

“A state need not guarantee the offender eventual release, but if it imposes a sentence of life it must provide him or her with some realistic opportunity to obtain release before the end of that term,” he wrote.
 

Date created : 2010-05-17

  • USA

    Obama launches huge online campaign for Supreme Court nominee

    Read more

  • USA

    Obama nominates solicitor general for Supreme Court

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)