Juvenile Lawbreakers Life Without Parole

Read Complete Research Material


Juvenile lawbreakers Life Without Parole

Juvenile Offenders Life Without Parole


The sentence of juvenile life without parole (JLWOP) is not used anywhere in the world except the United States, where at least 1,755 individuals are currently serving this sentence for crimes committed when they were legally classified as juveniles.1 In the U.S., it is even used for crimes in which no death occurred: data indicate that there are 109 sentences of JLWOP being served in such cases.2 A growing body of research points to the mounting evidence that youth are cognitively, behaviorally, and emotionally different from adults in ways that make a sentence of life without parole entirely inappropriate for this segment of our population. In November 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court heard two cases that address this perform: Sullivanv. Florida and Graham v. Florida. In the Sullivan case, the JLWOP sentence was applied in response to Sullivan's conviction of sexual battery at the age of 13. In the Graham case, then 16-year-old Graham was sentenced to JLWOP in response to an armed burglary while on probation for another offense. The Supreme Court will issue its opinions on these two cases by the end of June 2010. The federal government and most states allow life without parole sentences for juvenile offenders who commit certain crimes; JLWOP is not permitted in 6 states3 or the District of Columbia, and is allowed but not currently used in an additional 9 states.4 Seventy-three of the individuals serving JLWOP sentences were age 14 or younger at the time of their offense.5 The use of this extreme sentence for juveniles becomes available once juveniles are transferred to the adult system, which can happen mandatorily or discretionarily depending on state law. Once a juvenile case is transferred to the adult system, the JLWOP sentence is an option and is again applied as a mandatory sentence upon conviction for certain crimes (such as murder), or is applied as a result of judicial discretion.

Arguments in favor of Capital Punishment

The American Heritage Dictionary characterises capital punishment as 'the penalty of death for the charge of crime.' The death sentence has been directed since ancient times as penalty for crimes extending from petty robbery to murder. In 1976, U.S. states started conceiving a bifurcated test procedure that would legally allow enforcing the judgment of death. The states did so in answer to the 1972 (Furman vs. Georgia) Supreme court conclusion which ruled that death punishment statutes were too vague and ambiguous, therefore unconstitutional and illegal. The two tier system reserved for capital punishment cases relies on jurors to decide on innocence or guilt. Another committee concludes whether or not to impose the death penalty. The vote must be unanimously recommended for the death sentence to be imposed. Jurors, acting in societies best interest, have sent a clear message. Those who are compelled to consign a heinous premeditated murder must be prepared to accept the consequence prescribed by law, ...
Related Ads