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.
Massachusetts To Dismiss 20,000 Drug Convictions
Due to widespread criminal misconduct of a lab’s chemist in analyzing drug samples, Massachusetts has decided to dismiss approximately 20,000 drug convictions.
Florida Supreme Court Approves Voting Rights Restoration for Convicted Felons
The Florida Supreme Court has approved the language for a proposed state constitutional amendment which would automatically restore voting rights to many past felony convictions who have completed their sentence, parole, and probation.