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Supreme Court Rules No Life Without Parole For Teens


In a 5-4 split decision on Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that the imposition of mandatory "life without parole" sentences for juveniles convicted of murder violates the 8th Amendment to the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Many legal scholars felt that this was likely to occur following the ruling several years ago which prevented the death sentence for crimes committed while a person was a juvenile but the increasingly conservative stance of the court made it a topic of worry.

This ruling joins the 2005 case on capital punishment and a 2010 case which struck down life without parole for juveniles convicted of non-murder offenses.

The swing vote in this case was Justice Kennedy, again, who joined with Gunsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan.

The conservative block of Roberts, Alito, Scalia and Thomas would have upheld the law.

This will, of course, invalidate all mandatory sentences of life without parole in any state.

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