Supreme Court Bans Life without Parole for Juveniles

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bryan Stevenson (Courtesy of the Equal Justice Initiative)

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that mandatory life without parole sentences for children under 17 years old are unconstitutional. The ruling struck down statutes in 29 states that required life without parole in cases of homicide.

Bryan Stevenson is an attorney and the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, an Alabama-based legal nonprofit. He argued the case before the Supreme Court, and has for years claimed that race and poverty are powerful forces in influencing which children receive life without parole sentences and which don't.

Guests:

Bryan Stevenson

Produced by:

John Light

Comments [1]

Charles

You forgot something.

You forgot to mention Laurie Troup.

Laurie Troup was the 26 year-old video store clerk who was shot in the face by a blast from a sawed-off .410 gauge shotgun. That was the murder for which Derrick Shields, age 15 and Kuntrell Jackson, age 14 were given mandatory life sentences. Reading the Supreme Court decision, we are told that Shields was the triggerman, but that Jackson was part of the robbery attempt that led to the murder. Jackson knew that Shields had the shotgun, and after the murder, the teen robbers went back to Jackson's house to agree that they'd all keep quiet about the crime.

Jun. 26 2012 09:22 AM

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