« Ohio gets a new problem on its way toward a one-drug lethal injection | Main | "Companies 'Named And Shamed' For Bad Behavior" »

March 8, 2010

New ACS issue brief making the case against juve LWOP

I just got word of this new issue brief from the folks at the American Constitution Society, which is titled "A Just Alternative to Sentencing Youth to Life in Prison Without the Possibility of Parole." This piece is authored by Jody Kent and Beth Colgan, and here is how ACS summarizes the work:

This Issue Brief is particularly timely in light of the Supreme Court’s consideration of the constitutionality of juvenile life sentences without the possibility of parole in two cases, Sullivan v. Florida and Graham v. Florida.  Ms. Kent and Ms. Colgan examine why, in their opinion, such sentencing practices represent deeply flawed public policy.  As the authors explain:

"Regardless of whether the Court extends [its precedent acknowledging that juveniles are different from adults] to find the sentencing of youth to life in prison without the possibility of parole unconstitutional, advocates for youth have called for reform of extreme sentencing policies, on the basis that they grossly undermine rational, fair, and age-appropriate treatment of youth."

Ms. Kent and Ms. Colgan discuss the well-established principle that youth are different from adults, and explain how this principle is reinforced by adolescent brain development research. The authors address and dismiss arguments that harsh sentencing is necessary to protect public safety, as well as highlight troubling racial disparities and inconsistent sentencing application.  In addition, they describe how such sentencing functions to undermine the United States’s moral standing, given that the United States is the only country in the world to sentence offenders under the age of eighteen to life without parole.  Finally, the Issue Brief concludes with Ms. Kent and Ms. Colgan proposing an alternative to the practice of sentencing youth to life in prison without the possibility of parole --- creation of a system allowing periodic review of sentences to determine whether individuals continue to pose a threat to society or may be returned to communities as productive citizens.  In the view of the authors, this approach balances the need to hold young offenders accountable, while still recognizing their inherent capacity for change and growth.

March 8, 2010 at 05:15 PM | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451574769e20120a9169213970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference New ACS issue brief making the case against juve LWOP:

Comments

How come only criminal lovers have any influence in the criminal justice system? That is an easy one. The criminal generates lawyer fees. There is strong bias for generating lawyer fees by loosing vicious predators on black communities.

All vile left wing criminal lovers get a murderer release halfway house next door. All criminal lover judges get the same. Let these juveniles sit on their porches, and stare at their kids walking by on their way to school. After all, they are different from adults.

One irony, the same one as the irony in the mentally ill and mental retardation cases.

If they are more immature, they are 10 times more dangerous as older criminals, and cannot be reasoned with.

The real justification is to execute the young, the insane, and the mentally retarded, since they cannot be deterred, and have not responded to harsh punishments. The justification is really about 10 times greater than in older adults.

So why are so many left wing criminal lovers and conservative justices on the supreme court voting to immunize these vicious predators? They generate lawyer fees for the next 50 years, while older less vicious predators will do so for fewer years. These are precious lawyer commodities to be preserved at the expense of the future crime victims, including fellow prisoners, guards, and visitors. These vicious predators 10 times more innocent victims as are executed a year.

Posted by: Supermacy Claus | Mar 8, 2010 8:34:18 PM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB