Miller v. Alabama (2012) Supreme Court Case
The Supreme Court reviewed the constitutionality of mandatory life sentences without parole enforced upon persons aged fourteen and younger found guilty of homicide. The court declared unconstitutional a compulsory sentence of life without parole for children. The states have been barred from routinely imposing sentences based on the crime committed. There is a requirement for individual consideration of the child life circumstance or the defendant status as a child. The court rejected the definite ban on life sentences without parole. This is because in some cases the instances may be uncommon, but jurors can find irreparably corrupted children. The Supreme Court declined to decide the subject whether there is age below which children with life sentences without parole is unconstitutional. Background of the case
The judgment of the court is mainly based on consolidation of two cases. In Jackson vs. Hobbs, Jackson was at the age of fourteen when he and other two youth went to a store in Arkansas planning to steal from it. In this case, Jackson got charged as an adult and given a life term with no parole. In Miller v. Alabama, Miller was a fourteen year of age. Jackson and another boy set fire to a trailer where they had purchased drugs. Miller was convicted of murder and given a mandatory life sentence with no parole. The decision was reversed by the Supreme Court. The review of the above cases was approved by the Supreme Court presenting the subject of constitutionality of a life sentence without parole for fourteen year olds who committed murder crimes. The two cases follow two previous cases before the Supreme Court. In the case of Roper v. Simmons, it was held that imposition of death penalty on defendants below the age of eighteen violated the eighth amendment. In the case of Graham v Florida, it was held sentencing...
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