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U.S. Supreme Court: Life Sentences for Juveniles Must Be Reviewed

Public News Service interviews CJCJ’s executive director, Daniel Macallair, on the significance of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent juvenile justice decision. 

In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled, in Miller v. Alabama, that mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole for people who commited crimes as juveniles was unconstitutional. On Monday, January 25, 2016, the Court decided to make its 2012 ruling retroactive — meaning people sentenced to life without parole can now apply for parole or resentencing. 

The rest of the world, through the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Children, has said sentencing children for an act committed at 15, 16, or 17, to serve the rest of their life in prison — it’s an inhumane sentence,” said Daniel Macallair, director of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice in San Francisco. Civilized countries don’t do it, and we shouldn’t do it.” — Daniel Macallair

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