Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Juvenile offenders and life without parole

Available on SSRN: "The Paradox of Graham v. Florida and the Juvenile Justice System" by federal district court law clerk (C.D. Cal.) Aaron Sussman, forthcoming in the Vermont Law Review. The author analyzes a series of Supreme Court decisions on sentences for juveniles that foreclose any possibility of parole, including Graham v. Florida (2010) as well as the recent Miller v. Alabama/Jackson v. Hobbs decision.  He finds "a sharp disjuncture emerges between the Supreme Court’s language and the realities of the criminal justice system, a disjuncture that, in the context of Graham and its progeny, helps preserve the perception of legitimacy but may inhibit even small steps toward improving the conditions and rehabilitative potential of the juvenile justice system."