Give juvenile lifers a second chance
USA Today - 12/18/2014
Last Friday, by agreeing to hear arguments in Toca v. Louisiana, the U.S. Supreme Court opened the door for another important move toward rationalizing the administration of juvenile justice.
Two years ago, the court ruled in Miller v. Alabama that the statues in 28 states mandating life imprisonment without parole eligibility for juvenile murderers were unconstitutional — that such sentences could only be imposed with deliberative discretion. Unfortunately, the court was silent on whether the prohibition should apply retroactively to the hundreds of offenders who had previously been sentenced under inflexible laws.