In 2012, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling in
Miller v. Alabama which holds that life-without-parole sentences for all children under
18 convicted of homicide are unconstitutional. Before this ruling, juveniles
convicted of homicide could be sentenced to life without the possibility
of parole, but the recognition that kids are less culpable than adults
because of their immaturity and impulsiveness, and that they have a higher
likeliness of rehabilitation, caused the Supreme Court to issue the ruling
against this cruel and unusual punishment.
Although most States applied Miller v. Alabama retroactively, several did
not. However, "[the] decision in
Montgomery v. Louisiana now requires all states to apply Miller retroactively, which means that
in Louisiana, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, and Colorado,
hundreds of people who were sentenced to die in prison for crimes when
they were children are now entitled to new sentencing hearings."
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