Juvenile Life without Parole: Unusual and Unequal.

A concentration of a few states has unevenly complied with Miller and the possibility of resentencing provided by Montgomery. Some states have refused to comply at all.

This uneven implementation of the Miller decision has a particularly profound impact on racial disparities among those serving JLWOP. An analysis of those deemed worth protecting from JLWOP and those deemed fit for the sentence suggests that as long as JLWOP remains a sentencing option, it will be imposed in ways that produce arbitrary and racially discriminatory outcomes. It will also be leveraged to legitimize the extreme sentences of children in other forms, that still fail to consider their unique capacity for positive change.

Miller and the ensuing procedures guiding JLWOP imposition have not been sufficient guardrails to combat these risks. States must go further to address these inequalities and recognize what science and common sense have clearly demonstrated: that children are categorically different from adults, less culpable, and should be provided opportunities to demonstrate their tremendous potential for positive growth and change.


File Type: pdf
Categories: Policy Tool, Research, Resource Library
Tags: 14th Amendment, 8th Amendment, Adolescent Development, JLWOP, National Analysis, Racial and Ethnic Disparities, Racial Justice, Sentencing