New Rulings for Juvenile Life Sentences by the Supreme Court
February 23, 2016•36 min
On January 25, 2016, in a 6-3 opinion written by Justice Kennedy, the Supreme Court ruled that those sentenced as juveniles to mandatory life imprisonment for murder, “should have a chance to be resentenced or argue for parole.”
This ruling plays off of the 2012 decision in Miller v. Alabama, which struck down mandatory life terms without parole for juveniles. This now must be applied retroactively and could affect at least 1,000 inmates in similar situations across the country.
In this episode of Lawyer 2 Lawyer, host Bob Ambrogi joins Emily C. Keller, a supervising attorney at Juvenile Law Center, and professor Christopher Slobogin from Vanderbilt Law School as they look at the recent Supreme Court decision, inside Montgomery v. Louisiana and Miller v. Alabama, the impact on past and future cases involving juveniles, the decision’s impact on the families of victims and juvenile justice reform.
Emily C. Keller engages in litigation and policy efforts to improve the child welfare and justice systems, including efforts to eliminate juvenile life without parole. Emily served as co-counsel for Henry Montgomery in Montgomery v. Louisiana before the U.S. Supreme Court and co-authored an amicus brief in Miller v. Alabama, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2012 case banning mandatory life without parole sentences for juveniles. Emily has also submitted amicus briefs in cases around the country challenging the imposition of life without parole and other extreme sentences on juvenile offenders.
Professor Christopher Slobogin occupies the Milton Underwood Chair at Vanderbilt Law School, where he directs the criminal justice program. He has authored several books, including Juveniles at Risk: A Plea for Preventive Justice, published by Oxford University Press.