Juvenile Life Without Parole Unconstitutional

The United States Supreme Court, in Graham v. Florida, has held that giving juveniles a sentence of life without the possibility of parole is cruel and unusual punishment.

Relying on medical and developmental data, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that it is cruel and unusual punishment to subject a person who committed a serious crime in his youth to a life sentence without the possibility of parole.  The Court indicated that such a sentence ignores the developmental and rehabilitative potential of children.

The Court relied heavily on its prior decision in Roeper v. Simmons, declaring the juvenile death penalty unconstitutional.

It is our hope at the Law Office of John Curnyn that these two decisions will render the Illinois Transfer and Extended Juvenile Jurisdiction statutes unconstitutional as well, as we believe that the imposition of an adult sentence on any juvenile is cruel and unusual punishment.

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