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November 7, 2011

Supreme Court grants cert on two Eighth Amendment LWOP challenges for 14-year-old murderers!

In this post last week, I asked "What might SCOTUS be doing with long-held cases involving 14-year-olds serving LWOP?".  This morning we got an answer via the Supreme Court's new order list: getting ready to grant cert and thereby tee up the biggest constitutional sentencing cases for the current SCOTUS Term!!

I do not yet know the details that surround the crimes and administration of LWOP punishments in Miller v. Alabama and Jackson v. Hobbs (which comes from Arkansas).  But I do know that that Miller and Jackson are now the two most important sentencing cases now on the Supreme Court's docket for the current Term.

I will have lots and lots and lots to say about these cases in the weeks and months ahead, but I will start by simply affording kudos to the Justices for taking on this important post-Graham issue head-on rather than dodging it for a few more years.

A few recent related posts from just the last few months:

November 7, 2011 at 10:23 AM | Permalink


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At some point I think they'll drop all pretext that they base they're decisions in any way on the constitution. Graham, Kennedy, Woodson, a few others I can rant about are based on their own opinions, nothing more. I can only believe this will go the same way.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Nov 7, 2011 10:35:19 AM

i'm just suprised they finaly got off their rears and made a decision. That seems to come a lot harder for them these days!

Posted by: rodsmith | Nov 7, 2011 10:59:46 AM

MikeinCT --

The pretext was acidly debunked by Scalia in his statement concurring in the denial of rehearing in Kennedy v. Louisiana. Have a look. It's right on your point.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 7, 2011 12:39:45 PM

Mike, I don't know what "the Constitution" is supposed to mean. In each of those opinions, both sides used "the Constitution" to argue their side. This occurs in each case. If you think one or the other side is wrong in defining the rather opaque 8A standard at issue, one even a century ago the Supreme Court said "evolved" as to its force in some sense (Weems), fine.

Posted by: Joe | Nov 7, 2011 4:07:46 PM

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